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Allman Brothers, Cheap Trick Settle Lawsuit With Sony

Gregg Allman and Cheap Trick
Cory Schwartz, Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Members of the Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick and other classic rock bands signed to Sony BMG will have reason to smile when they receive their next royalty statements. On Wednesday, a five-year lawsuit against the label was settled to the tune of $7.95 million and a three percent raise in their royalty rates on sales of digital music, Rolling Stone is reporting.

According to the settlement, artists who were signed to Sony between 1976 and 2001 with more than 28,500 total downloads in iTunes are eligible for the payout. The acts also are required to have a clause in their contract that gives them 50 percent of net revenue for licensed music.

While $7.95 million is no small chunk of change, the plaintiffs were originally seeking $25 million in the suit, which was filed in March 2007. In addition, $2.5 million of the settlement will cover the artists’ legal fees.

The war between artists and labels over fair compensation has been ongoing since the beginning of the music industry, with the move to digital sales being the latest battle to be fought. A similar class-action suit against Universal Music Group was filed in April 2011. Toto and Peter Frampton have filed separate lawsuits in recent months over royalties for digital downloads of their work. But for now, you can buy ‘Heaven Tonight’ or ‘Seven Turns’ with a clear conscience knowing that Cheap Trick and the Allman Brothers Band will be properly compensated from now on.

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