When the Knack release the famed songs “My Sharona” and “Good Girls Don’t“, there was no such thing as digital download, iTunes, Amazon, etc. The World Wide Web didn’t exist. So all these years later, Capitol Records has a lawsuit on their hands.
According to TMZ, the sister of deceased Knack drummer Bruce Gary is now suing
Capitol Records, claiming the company is being less than fair in paying her digital download money, to which her late brother’s estate is entitled.
Gary’s sister — Felice Catena — inherited the rights to Bruce’s music after he passed away in 2006.
In a lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming Capitol is paying her a mere fraction of what she’s owed on download proceeds for Knack hits like “My Sharona” and “Good Girls Don’t.”
According to the complaint, Capitol owes Catena a whopping 50% of net receipts from sales of his music by iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, and others. The complaint, filed by Paul Duvall and Richard Busch of King & Ballow, seeks unspecified damages, an accounting and a declaration requiring Capitol to account to the Knack based on 50 percent of net recepits for the licensing of the masters.
In the “good-old-days, recording contracts obviously didn’t contain provisions for digital downloads. With the advent of iTunes, it wasn’t clear whether to pay the artist their sale fee (around 12%-18%) or their licensing fee (around 50%). Felice claims sales through digital distributors are actually licenses and therefore, she should be paid accordingly.
The certainly is hope for Catena; Eminem brazenly sued his record label for the same thing back in 2007 … and won.
Good news for Ms. Catena.
- FABTV: The Knack “My Sharona” (fabsugar.com)
- Bruce Gary of The Knack – Musician ‘n’ Mensch (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eminem Lawsuit May Raise Pay for Older Artists(NY Times)