Source: The Tennessean
Michael McDonald Sues Over Online Music Sales
Singer-songwriter Michael McDonald, best known for solo hits like “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” and “What a Fool Believes” recorded while a member of The Doobie Brothers, has filed suit against Warner Music Group, claiming the company underpaid him for online music sales.
McDonald, who lives in Franklin, filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Nashville this morning.
He is seeking at least half a million dollars in royalties he claims were deliberately underpaid for sales of his music through download sites such as iTunes and through cellphone ringtone sales.
McDonald’s lawsuit is the latest in a growing list of breach of contract suits brought by artists against the nation’s major record labels over accounting and payment practices for music sold and streamed online.
Since December, country singer Kenny Rogers, rocker Peter Frampton, Weird Al Yankovic, members of the 1980s rock band Toto and an heir to the drummer for 1970s-era rock band The Knack (they’re known for “My Sharona”) have all filed suit on similar grounds.
The lawsuits generally claim that record labels have kept the lion’s share of digital music sales instead of fairly dividing them with the artists.
The musicians are all represented by Nashville attorney Richard Busch, partner in the King & Ballow law firm.
Last year, Busch filed suit successfully over royalties for rapper Eminem and his producers, F.B.T. productions. That suit withstood multiple appeals by record label Universal Music Group and is due to return to a Los Angeles courtroom this summer to determine monetary damages owed to the singer and his producers.
The underpayments to McDonald were “part of a conscious decision by Warner, and others in the music business to deprive artists of their proper royalties…,” McDonald’s lawsuit contends.