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CHILDISH REPORTING

When it comes to reporting on celebrity beach bods, Twitter battles and DUIs, TMZ is really good—almost as good as Billboard. But covering the intricacies of contractual wrangling in the music biz? Not so much.

The scandal sheet no doubt harvested a fair number of clicks with the headline “Donald Glover Sued by Record Label: You Screwed Us Out of Streaming Cash!!” But they got the story all wrong, alleging that Glassnote has “filed a lawsuit” against the artist also known as Childish Gambino, “claiming he’s aced them out of the loot he’s collected for streaming royalties.”

 Glover asserted he was entitled to 95% of non-interactive (SiriusXM, Pandora, etc.) streaming royalties and demanded $1.5m from the label plus 100% of the “rights owner” share and threatened a lawsuit.

Glassnote countered that royalties are paid out by SoundExchange and that its deal with him entitled him to 45% and Glassnote to 50% (5% goes to other creators). It asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to review the contract and affirm this arrangement. A source at Glassnote says that in 11 years, the label has never been in litigation with an artist, and adds that despite TMZ’s clickbait story, it isn’t asking Glover for anything—just asserting its right to keep what it’s been paid by SoundExchange.

The company has reportedly paid Gambino $8m in royalties based on its deal with him, with $2m more on the way; he is also said to have collected $700k in non-interactive digital performance royalties.

 

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