Members of The Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick have filed a class action lawsuit against Sony BMG, alleging the company has underpaid its artists royalties associated with digital music sales.
Songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store and other commercial music download services routinely cost 99 cents each.
that the plaintiffs in the case say they’re receiving a scant 4.5 cents for each digital download of their music, but they claim they’re owed 30 cents per track instead.
At issue is a loophole in the musicians’ contracts that allows the record label to make a royalty reduction and a packaging deduction for music sold using a new technology — an issue that doesn’t hold water for music that’s being sold electronically, which doesn’t involve packaging.
Dave Frey, manager for Cheap Trick, called the problem “the elephant in the room for a while,” and said that artists need to take a stand to dispute the record labels’ accounting now to help establish how music sales will be divided up in the future.
The case’s status as a class action is still being considered. It was filed on April 27, 2006 in U.S. District Court in New York.