17 Stories

One Half of Steely Dan Is Suing the Other's Estate

Donald Fagen says he should have ownership now that Walter Becker is dead

(Newser) - Donald Fagen of Steely Dan is suing the estate of his late band mate, Walter Becker, over ownership of the band's name and music, the AP reports. Fagen's attorneys filed papers last week in Los Angeles claiming that when Becker died in September , his estate was obligated to... More »

Slim Shady's Fans May Soon Be Able to Fatten Their Wallets

Company plans on offering unique investment opportunity

(Newser) - Between 1999 and 2013, Eminem released some of his most famous work, including 1999's The Slim Shady LP, 2000's The Marshall Mathers LP, and 2002's The Eminem Show. Now a new company has formed to nab the royalties income stream from his songs from that period, and... More »

Jury Sides With Quincy Jones in Michael Jackson Lawsuit

Singer's estate has to pay producer $9.4M

(Newser) - Michael Jackson's estate owes Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties and production fees from "Billie Jean," ''Thriller," and more of the superstar's biggest hits, a jury found Wednesday. The award from a Los Angeles Superior Court jury fell short of the $30... More »

Richard Carpenter Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Karen

He's suing for unpaid digital royalties

(Newser) - The lawsuits may have only just begun: Richard Carpenter filed a suit in California Wednesday on behalf of sister Karen Carpenter's estate, saying record companies are cheating both of them out of digital royalties. Richard, the surviving member of the sibling duo, accuses Universal Music Group and A&M... More »

Dear Apple: You're Ripping Off Artists. Love, Taylor

Singer disses free trial period for streaming: 'We don't ask you for free iPhones'

(Newser) - First she yanked her music off Spotify . Now Taylor Swift is taking on an even bigger music-streaming behemoth: Apple. The singer decided to keep her 1989 album off of Apple Music after discovering users could hear her songs, and others', for free during the three-month trial period, but that those... More »

'Aunt Jemima' Heirs Want $2B in Royalties

Anna Short Harrington's great-grandkids say Pepsi, Quaker Oats exploited her

(Newser) - "Aunt Jemima" is a household name for any American who has ever eaten a pancake (read: almost everyone). So it's not terribly surprising that the heirs of Anna Short Harrington, whose iconic image helped make the brand's syrup and pancake mixes famous, are going after decades of... More »

Quincy Jones: Jackson Estate Cheated Me on Hits

Producer sues for royalties over re-editing of some classic songs

(Newser) - Quincy Jones has sued Michael Jackson's estate, claiming he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of the superstar's greatest hits. Jones' lawsuit seeks at least $10 million from the singer's estate and Sony Music Entertainment, arguing that the entities improperly re-edited songs to... More »

Harper Lee Sues Agent Over To Kill a Mockingbird

Author says he tricked her into signing over copyright

(Newser) - Atticus! Harper Lee has sued her former literary agent, claiming that he tricked her into signing over the rights and royalties of To Kill a Mockingbird, reports Reuters . The 87-year-old author alleges that Samuel Pinkus, the son-in-law of her late longtime agent, pulled a fast one on her while she... More »

Amazon Offers Kindle Authors Whopping 70% Royalty

Pressures publishers to accept lower prices

(Newser) - In a bid to boost its ebook business, Amazon is now offering authors and publishers 70% of every sale of a title for the Kindle. The move more than quadruples the standard royalty of 15% or less, to put more in writers' pockets even as the price of their books... More »

To Save the Music Industry, Ban Music—and Whistling

The copyright arguments aren't going to stop until the day music dies

(Newser) - The music industry wants royalties for the 30-second previews on iTunes—which is "bullshit," writes Nicholas DeLeon for TechGear. It's yet another foolish move in the battle to save the music industry, complains DeLeon. Luckily, he has a "foolproof" way to do just that: Ban music, "... More »

Music Gang Busted in iTunes Royalties Scam

Group boostsrankings, bank accounts by buying their own music with stolen cards

(Newser) - A group of ten British DJs have been arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards to download their own music from iTunes and Amazon, the Times of London reports. The gang is believed to have made $300,000 in royalties from the $750,000 they spent buying 19 compilations they... More »

Fading Radio, Recording Outfits Clash Over Royalties

(Newser) - The recording industry and radio-station owners are clashing in Washington over the issue of royalties, Bloomberg reports. Both sides have spent tens of millions on lobbying, and contributed to the campaigns of legislators of both parties. At present, radio stations pay royalties to songwriters and publishers, not artists. “This... More »

Mayor of Batman, Turkey, Aims to Sue Warner Bros.

Pol wants share of Dark Knight revenues for citizens of oil town

(Newser) - The mayor of Batman, Turkey, is threatening to sue Warner Brothers for a share of the nearly $1 billion The Dark Knight has generated. The unauthorized name use has wreaked psychological havoc in the Anatolian oil city by driving up unsolved murders and female suicides, Huseyin Kalkan tells Variety—though... More »

Royalty Rates May Kill Internet Radio Site

Popular Pandora threatens to pull plug without a new deal

(Newser) - One of America's most popular online radio sites may pull the plug without a new deal on royalty rates, the Washington Post reports. Pandora attracts 1 million listeners a day to create personalized radio stations, but also pays 70% of its revenue in per-song royalties—a fee traditional radio has... More »

Obama Earns $3.9M in Royalties

His book sales continue to soar

(Newser) - Barack and Michelle Obama earned $4.2 million last year, mostly from royalties from Obama's two books, Dreams From My Father and the Audacity of Hope. The Obamas' newly released returns for 2007 show they paid $1.4 million in federal taxes and gave $240,370 to charity, USA Today... More »

Hollywood Studios Strike Back

Cancel deals with production companies to spread the pain of writer's guild strike

(Newser) - Hollywood studios are moving quickly to spread the pain of the writers' strike, saying they'll start—as soon as today—suspending dozens of long-term deals with TV production companies and laying off assistants, development executives and production managers who work for striking writers. "Anyone who's not working on pilots... More »

Radio Should Pay to Play, Artists Argue

Music industry wants to start collecting AM, FM royalties

(Newser) - It's time AM and FM radio broadcasters started paying for the music they play, a group of music industry types has decided. They're lobbying Congress to amend the federal law that has exempted terrestrial radio from paying artists' royalties for nearly a century, Business Week reports.   More »

17 Stories