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Roy Thomas Baker Sues Sony for Royalties

'Bohemian Rhapsody' producer says company owes him for work on Journey songs

Roy Thomas Baker
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
August 15, 2012 10:20 AM ET

Producer Roy Thomas Baker has filed a federal lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment over unpaid royalties – specifically, more than $1 million he says he's owed for his work on 21 songs by Journey, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Baker, who has produced for Guns N' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Cheap Trick and Foreigner, and produced Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," opted out of an agreement made last March by Sony, when the label settled a class-action lawsuit with its artists for $8 million in damages, plus a royalty rate percentage bump for digital sales.

Saying the settlement was "wholly insufficient to make plaintiff whole," Baker and lawyer Richard Busch claim Sony obscured its earnings, sharing revenue with foreign and domestic divisions before splitting profits with revenue participants. The lawsuit says Sony pulled a similar stunt with Journey tracks like "Wheel In The Sky," "Feeling That Way," "Anytime," and "Just the Same Way," withholding earnings from foreign sales. Baker says he should receive 50 percent of net receipts from the 21 Journey songs, including "Wheel in the Sky" and "Feeling That Way," claiming Sony "intentionally concealed its failure to apply the correct royalty rate by failing to disclose" the rate the company used to calculate what it owed Baker.

Baker says $475,000 in royalties in undocumented royalties surfaced in an initial audit of Sony's records, and believes he could be owed more. Sony did not comment.

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