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Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald Sues Label

Singer seeking royalties for downloads

Michael McDonald performs in Palm Beach, Florida.
Oriol Tarridas/WireImage for Audi of America
May 22, 2012 8:55 AM ET

Doobie Brothers frontman Michael McDonald is the latest artist to sue his label over royalties for downloads, Billboard reports. McDonald's lawyer has filed a lawsuit on his behalf in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, claiming that Warner Music Group has been paying him standard royalties for downloads rather than 50 percent of net receipts, after a recent victory on behalf on Eminem set a legal precedent that downloads count as licensed sales. Most major label contracts signed prior to the mid-Nineties entitle artists to 50 percent of revenue generated from licensed sales.

The filing on behalf of McDonald alleges that the singer is owed at least $500,000 in damages from lost royalties. Other artists, including Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton and Chuck D of Public Enemy, have similar suits pending.

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