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American Idol and Sony to battle it out in court

By Kimmy Manning
On February 28, 2014

Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and other "American Idol" winners' record label is suing Sony Music for $10 million for misusing royalties.

The complaint was filed in the New York federal court by 19 Recordings, a music company founded by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller.

"The suit focuses mainly on issues of accounting," according to Entertainment Weekly.  "The complaint accuses Sony of treating master recordings streamed on services such as Spotify as 'sales' or 'distributions' rather than 'broadcasts' or 'transmissions.'"

By doing this, Sony is permitted to pay drastically less money than it should under the terms of its recording agreements.

"We did not want to have to file this lawsuit, but Sony left us no choice, so this became necessary to protect our artists," Jason Morey, 19 Entertainment's worldwide head of music, said. "Our complaint lays out the claims in great detail. Everything we have to say about the case is set forth in it."

Billboard said that Sony has been "systematically robbing them of millions of dollars in royalties" and somehow getting away with it for the past twelve years.

 "Sony is among the larger music entities that have forged licensing deals with streaming services run by Spotify, Google and Apple," according to Billboard, making it an even bigger matter than before by tying in larger entities that rake in more profit for Sony Music.

The allegations are reciprocated, though, and are creating a controversy on both ends. Sony Music claims in some cases they have overpaid 19 Recordings.

As this story unfolds and clutches its results in the New York federal courtroom, be careful as to where your money is going when you purchase that $0.99 song. Your artist may be receiving an nth of what you expect. 

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