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BMG SUES UMG OVER $450K

BMG Publishing is suing UMG over $450k in royalties, according to multiple reports. It's highly unusual for a major to sue another major over a matter such as this, and some observers are observing that the pubco's action reflects either impotence or a grandstanding effort to generate attention for its allegedly artist-friendly model.

The source of the dispute is a claim by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker that label Modular Recordings, which is co-owned by Universal Australia, never paid him mechanicals. BMG promptly filed suit in New York against 14 companies, including Universal Music Australia and UMG; the labels have denied any responsibility for the funds.

Indeed, they assert Modular founder Steve Pavlovic, who has since left the company, is entirely responsible.

The affair was prompted by Parker’s Reddit “Ask Me Anything” conversation last year, in which he claimed to have received “zero dollars” for any of Tame Impala’s record sales outside of Australia, and was supporting himself entirely on commercial syncs. BMG, in response, filed suit on 5/8 in New York Southern District Court. 

Stay tuned for further developments.

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