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If downloading is found to be licensing, it could trigger the labels to renegotiate artist deals or refuse to provide individual recordings for sale online.
ALLMANS, CHEAP TRICK SUE SONY BMG OVER DIGITAL REVENUE
Bands Claim They Were Underpaid As Labels Insist Transactions Were Sales, Not Licenses
The digital shit is about to hit the proverbial fan... or, in this case, the record conglomerate.

In a case that has implications for how labels and artists share revenue from online downloads, the individual management companies for the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick have filed a class action lawsuit against Sony BMG, alleging it has underpaid artists for digital music transactions.

The action, filed April 27 in U.S. District Court in New York by Labaton Sucharow & Rudoff and Probstein & Weiner, hinges on whether the label’s deal with online retailers is considered a sale, which is how Sony BMG sees it, or a license.

Sony BMG labels consider their online deals as sales of records rather than licenses. Artist contracts call for the company to share 50% of net licensing revenus from digital music transactions, which the suit claimed they are violating.

The two bands claim they receive a total of only 4.5 cents from each 99-cent download rather than the 30 cents per track they believe they are owed if they are considered licenses rather than direct sales, which Sony BMG insists they are.

Many contracts permit a 50% reduction in royalties for music sold through a new technology, as well as a packaging deduction, which artists say has been rendered obsolete in the digital world.

The suit targets royalties from master ringtones and digital downloads through at least nine services, including iTunes, with damages sought in excess of $25 million.

A similar suit was filed by Tom WaitsThird Story Music against Warner Music Group.

The suit claims more than 420 million records were sold in digital formats, including master ringtone sales, last year. If downloading is found to be licensing, it could trigger the labels to renegotiate artist deals or refuse to provide individual recordings for sale online. Either way, it opens up a Pandora's box of possibilities.  

The class action suit would cover all Sony artists who signed deals between 1962 and 2002, a figure estimated to be around 2,500. The Allmans signed its current Sony deal in 1989, while Cheap Trick's deal dates to 1976.

Anyone know where we can get a download of "Surrender"?

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