A renowned attorney has scored big against mega record company Sony BMG Music Entertainment, just days before being set for trial, by coming to terms with a settlement offer.
According to reports, attorney James L. Walker, Jr. finally saw his eight-year battle with the music empire come to an end after suing Sony over unfair treatment to artists.
Walker filed a 13 count complaint alleging among other things that the Verity Gospel Division of Sony BMG plotted consistently to defame his name in lies and rip clients from his small Connecticut based law firm -which is currently relocating to Atlanta. The label also allegedly threatened the artists if they used Walker’s services. The trial was scheduled to start on April 29th in Bridgeport, CT, but the two parties agreed to a settlement that Walker said he is very pleased with and hopes he and Sony can move forward in making great music. “For every black attorney or black representative, whether manager, publicist or agent, who has been told that he or she is 2nd rate and cannot get the job done; we celebrate this lawsuit and hope artists will now stand up to labels and choose the best person for the job,” said Walker. (Rap Rehab)
Walker also claimed Sony would threaten its own artists not to hire his firm in order to land controllable lawyers.
“Often labels want artists to use attorneys that the labels can control -this avoids paying the artists their worth and saves the labels millions of dollars and is clearly a conflict of interest. When you decide to lie about a firm and threaten artists, you have crossed the line,” said Walker. Walker explained that when a song appears on a Sony album if you are the songwriter you are entitled to about 7-8 pennies for each copy sold. Thus, if an album sells platinum, the one songwriter could be due anywhere between $70,000 to $80,000. Labels often ask you to reduce these pennies in half so they do not pay out as much -which Walker contends is unfair to an artist or songwriter who makes their living off their hit catalogue. (Rap Rehab)
Recently, Sony issued a hefty lawsuit to a file-sharer for allegedly leaking unauthorized music by Grammy-winning singer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter this year.
An important file-sharing prosecution has just taken another unexpected turn. The case, which is notable as the first ever to involve the monitoring and subsequent charging of a BitTorrent user in Sweden, centers around the pre-release leaking of a Beyonce album to The Pirate Bay. Now, in a parallel action brought by Sony Music Entertainment, the labels are seeking eye-watering damages of 1.5 million kronor, a cool $233,000. (Torrent Freak)
Sony recently made headlines after signing R&B singer Lauryn Hill to a substantial record deal.
Lauryn Hill just bought herself a couple weeks of freedom. The R&B legend was to be sentenced to prison today after pleading guilty to blowing off her 2005-2007 tax returns … but the sentencing was moved to May 6 to give Lauryn a chance to repay a chunk of her $968,000 tax debt. Hill’s attorney said the singer recently signed a million-dollar recording deal with Sony … she was also planning to take out a $650,000 loan to put toward the bill. Hill faces several years in prison … but her attorney is hoping for probation. (TMZ)