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First off today, Claudia Rosenbaum at Billboard reports that artists Larry Heard and Robert Owens have filed a lawsuit against Chicago-based Trax Records over allegedly unpaid royalties and are seeking over $1 million in damages.
Heard, better known as “Mr. Fingers” and Owens claim that they have not been paid royalties on various compositions and recordings that they created in the 1980s. They accuse the label of signing up new and inexperienced house-music artists and having them sign away their copyrights for a limited amount of money with promises of royalties down the line. However, they claim that they have not even received an accounting of payment from Trax Records.
The duo are having their litigation funded, at least in part, by TaP Music, who said that Trax Records has behaved “abominably” over the years and are asking any other similarly afflicted artists to contact them.
Next up today, Dean Balsamini at The New York Post reports that reggae star Gary Henderson, better known as Nardo Ranks, has sued dance artist Tina Pinnock, better known as HoodCelebrityy, over allegedly stolen lyrics.
The lawsuit alleges that Pinnock used “significant phrasing” in from Ranks’ 1992 song Them a Bleach when writing her 2020 song Run Di Road. The lawsuit also names KSR Group, the record label that released Pinnock’s song.
The lawsuit seeks alleges copyright infringement and is seeking at least $500,000 in damages.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has tossed out a lawsuit by J.C. Lee, one of the daughters of Stan Lee, over her latest attempt to reclaim the rights to her father’s works.
The lawsuit centered around a period of time in the mid-90s where Stan Lee broke away from Marvel and signed over his intellectual property to, Stan Lee Media Inc., which went bankrupt, and then POW! Entertainment before reuniting with Marvel. J.C. Lee has long contended that the original agreements assigning rights to Stan Lee Media were invalid. However, the judge in the case disagreed, noting that the issue has long been settled by courts.
The judge didn’t stop at tossing the lawsuit and has hit Lee herself with a $1 million judgment for filing the frivolous case. Her attorneys have also been ordered to pay $250,000 apiece.