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James Taylor Sues Warner Brothers Over Royalties

Singer seeks $2 million in compensation for digital sales

September 17, 2012 10:10 AM ET
James Taylor
James Taylor
Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

James Taylor is suing his former record label, Warner Bros., for $2 million over royalties, The Guardian reports. The suit stems from outdated royalty rates from the pre-digital era. Taylor claims Warner paid him royalties for digital sales that are appropriate for "phonograph records," and says the digital sales should be viewed as a licensed copy of the master recording, not as a newly pressed physical copy. That licensing agreement would bump Taylor's royalties by as much as a 400 percent.

Taylor has accused Warner of other transgressions, including the unauthorized use of his master recordings on compilations. He was signed to Warner from 1969-'79. "Weird Al" Yankovic and producer Roy Thomas Baker are among those who have recently sued their labels over unpaid royalties, while Sony settled with the Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick earlier this year.

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