Chuck D of Public Enemy Sues Universal Music Group for $100 Million

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Public Enemy’s Chuck D is still fighting the power, but this time he’s fighting Universal Music Group claiming that the label is underpaying royalties on digital downloads. Universal Music Group owns the rights to the first five Public Enemy albums. The $100 million lawsuit claims that UMG regularly miscalculates the amount of royalties due to artists by looking at MP3’s and ringtones as sales of physical records and not licenses. Chuck D’s lawyers claim that a 2010 court decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sets precedent for digital music to be treated  as licenses not as “sales”.

“Chuck D has been ‘fighting the power’ for over two decades and will continue to do so through this suit in order to help all musicians, including many legacy artists who are living on fixed incomes,” said James Pizzirusso, a partner at Hausfeld LLP, the firm that is representing Chuck D.

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