Business News Digital Royalties Timeline Labels & Publishers Legal Media Top Stories

Sony hits back in 19 lawsuit, claims it overpaid former Idols

By | Published on Thursday 2 April 2015

American Idol

Sony Music has bounced a countersuit back at 19 Entertainment, having failed to have most of a lawsuit filed against it by the ‘Idol’ star repping company dismissed last month.

As previously reported, 19, which owns the ‘American Idol’ franchise and manages various former winners and finalists from the talent show, sued Sony Music last year. The major was the original label partner of the ‘Idol’ programme, and as such signed the winners and other bankable contenders.

And it’s on behalf of those Sony-signed idols that 19 sued, claiming it had found “systemically incorrect calculations” on two separate audits of royalty payments, that the major had refused to provide sufficient data for a full audit, and that Sony was calculating digital royalties in an unfair way.

With much of 19’s lawsuit now able to proceed after most of Sony’s motion to dismiss was rejected in court last month, the major has – according to The Hollywood Reporter – now filed its own legal papers claiming that, far from depriving former idols of income, it has actually overpaid them to the tune of at least $2 million.

The new legal filing disputes various claims made by 19 regarding how many records the former idols have actually sold. It then goes on to cite confusions over royalties stemming from compilation albums, claims that it has actually been overpaying on download income for some 19 artists, and allegations that it also overpaid on an advance for a record from fifth series ‘Idol’ finalist Kellie Pickler.

“So 19” the lawsuit basically says, “If you want to rake up old royalty statements, we’ll have our $2 million back please”. Which is fun. 19’s legal reps say they need to fully review Sony’s claims before commenting.