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‘Weird Al’ Yankovic settles lawsuit with Sony Music

By | Published on Friday 20 December 2013

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic has settled the lawsuit he launched against Sony Music last year, in which he claimed, amongst other things, that he was due a higher cut of digital revenues on his music than the major was currently paying.

As much previously reported, various artists with pre-iTunes contracts have gone legal over their cut of digital royalties, after FBT Productions won a case against Universal Music relating to early Eminem recordings. The production outfit successfully argued that if a contract doesn’t explicitly say how digital royalties are divided up, they should be treated as licensing revenue, rather than sales income, the former usually paying out a higher percentage to the artist.

Shortly before Yankovic launched his lawsuit, Sony Music offered a settlement deal to all affected artists, as the result of earlier digital royalties litigation launched by The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick back in 2006 (though it was still to get court approval). That Yankovic went legal anyway suggests that he didn’t think much of the offer of a 3% increase in download revenue.

It’s not clear what deal Yankovic has now received – though he was originally asking for $5 million in damages.