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 Records of not giving the band its fair cut of digital sales of Carpenters records, TMZ reports. He says the Carpenters, who recorded 11 albums and released 31 singles before Karen's death in 1983, are owed at least $2 million, and he notes that the courts sided with Eminem in a similar case in 2010.
The lawsuit accuses record companies of shortchanging the duo by undercounting digital downloads and "improperly classifying" downloads as record sales when they should be considered licensing, which has a higher royalty rate, Variety reports. "The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to UMG/A&M's annual bottom line," Richard Carpenter said in a statement. "It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister's estate and to me. I look forward to proving the allegations in court." (Read more The Carpenters stories.)