Man, what's with those ungrateful jazz musicians? It's like you give ‘em one lousy Grammy, and they start making all KINDS of outrageous demands!
"Listen to our records!" "Pay us the money you owe us contractually!" Sheeeesh, get a life, am I right?
Last week, more than a dozen of these finicky recording artists, including the estates of jazz legends Count Basie and Benny Goodman (whoever they are, right?), sued Universal Music, saying they had been "cheated out of more than $6 million in royalties since 1998." I mean, can you believe the arrogance?
Many of these "artists" (and I use the term loosely!) foolishly signed to labels that were later wisely and graciously bought by the sage-like Universal, and they had the gall to sue the world's largest music label for such trivialities as "breach of contract" and "breach of fiduciary duty," according to the lawsuit filed in New York State Court.
Universal, which is owned by the French company Vivendi, denied the allegations in a magnanimous statement while also making sure to stress the ease with which they will crush these ungrateful musical nobodies. "We believe that these claims are baseless, and we are confident that we will prevail in court," the company said.
The lawsuit alleges that Universal, which is required to submit at least biannual reports of sales and earnings for each artist, provided false information throughout the accounting period of May 1999 through February 2007.
According to this paper-thin suit, Universal has "systematically underpaid royalties" since 1998. These money grubbing scoundrels also allege that Universal failed to provide all of the records needed to calculate the losses... but don’t you believe this pack of liars, good people!
"Despite a relationship based on trust and manifold contractual obligations, and despite the fact that defendants realized an overwhelming windfall to both its finances and reputation as a result of this relationship, [Universal has] ‘utterly failed' to meet their obligations," the lawsuit continues. It then goes on to accuse little old Universal of engaging in "pervasive and systematic acts of using false statements" to conceal the complete earnings of the artists.
Other artists included in the lawsuit, (a.k.a. "scam"), either individually or through their estates, were Les Brown, Richard Hayman, Dick Hyman, Woody Herman, Kitty Kallen, Frankie Laine, Tony Martin, John Mills, Jerry Murad, Patti Page, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Sarah Vaughn.
Et tu, Sarah Vaughn?
Stay strong, Universal Music. TMT knows you didn't do it! Viva big business!!!