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Peter Frampton Sues Record Label for Digital Royalties

Singer charges that online profits were not fairly distributed

December 28, 2011 5:30 PM ET
Peter Frampton
Peter Frampton performs during a concert at the Tempodrom in Berlin, Germany.
Frank Hoensch/Getty Images

Peter Frampton has sued his record label for unpaid digital royalties.

The Frampton Comes Alive! singer-songwriter recently filed against A&M Records for “breach of contract and unfair competition” in the belief that his digital sales profits have not been fairly distributed, Billboard reports. Frampton argues that he should receive a higher royalty rate for digital downloads than for physical copies sold.

He is seeking damages and has hired music attorney Richard Busch, who previously helmed a similar and successful royalties suit for Eminem that helped set a legal precedent for online music sales. Frampton certainly hopes there's a precedent – his disputed record contract is reportedly “virtually identical” to Eminem’s. Universal, the parent company of A&M, asserts that the Eminem ruling does not set a precedent and only applies to that specific case.

It is quite the season for musicians’ legal battles; Frampton’s suit comes on the heels of that by Village People frontman Victor Willis, who is currently suing Scorpio Music and Can't Stop Production to regain control of his former band’s song copyrights. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty are also attempting to revert control of their intellectual property.

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