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"We are committed to the Backstreet Boys, and we will protect our group from anybody or anything that tries to break us apart. We are disappointed that our longtime label Jive Records has attempted to irresponsibly exploit our group. The five of us are writing for our new CD and setting concert dates for our upcoming worldwide summer tour."
——Backstreet Boys

BACKSTREET BOYS SUE ZOMBA

Band Cites Breach of Contract,
Trademark Infringement
Just a few hours after Bertelsmann completed its purchase of the Zomba Music Group for $2.74 billion, Zomba act the Backstreet Boys announced that they’ve filed suit against the record company, citing breach of contract, intentional interference with contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition.

The suit says that, whereas the group was ready to fulfill its obligations to Zomba, the company had made a decision, without consulting the band, that it would not honor its contractual commitment to release a fourth album in 2002 or pay the Backstreet Boys the $5 million in advances that would be due upon delivery. According to the suit, rather than release a fourth Backstreet album, Zomba decided instead to produce and promote a solo album by band member Nick Carter.

In addition, the band alleges that Zomba’s actions constitute a material breach and repudiation of its recording contract. The suit asks the court to confirm that it "has no further obligations to Zomba under their 1994 recording agreement."

The Backstreet Boys are asking for damages of at least $75 million for all monies or other benefits received by defendants as a result of Zomba’s "tortious conduct and all other costs of filing the suit."

"We are committed to the Backstreet Boys, and we will protect our group from anybody or anything that tries to break us apart," the band said in a statement. "We are disappointed that our longtime label Jive Records has attempted to irresponsibly exploit our group. The five of us are writing for our new CD and setting concert dates for our upcoming worldwide summer tour."

In the lawsuit, filed Monday in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York, the Backstreet Boys allege that Zomba’s wrongful conduct surrounds the band’s attempts at releasing a fourth album under a five-record recording contract.

The suit alleges "Zomba’s wrongful conduct has caused substantial damage to the Backstreet Boys. By refusing to participate in the album development process and depriving the band of Carter’s exclusive services, Zomba precluded Backstreet Boys from meeting the April 30 delivery date, and that resulted in the loss of the $5 million advance. By doing so, Zomba has added at least a one-year delay to the release of the next Backstreet Boys album. During this time the band could have, and would have released an album and completed a tour."

Finally, the suit alleges that Zomba is using the Backstreet Boys trademark to promote the release of the Carter solo album, Now or Never.

The bBackstreet Boys are being represented in the suit by Daniel Petrocelli of O’Melveny & Myers, best known for representing Denise Brown in her successful civil suit against O.J. Simpson.

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