Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, February 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘American Idol’ Royalties Tiff Girds for Discovery

MANHATTAN (CN) - A British record label still has half of its lawsuit's allegations standing after the first round of its federal lawsuit alleging that Sony Music Entertainment cheated it out of more than $7 million in royalties for "American Idol."

In a complaint filed last month in New York, British entrepreneur Simon Fuller's label 19 Recordings Limited claimed to be owed money for alumni of the show who became "some of the biggest hits of the 21st century."

This roster includes Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Jordin Sparks, David Archuleta and David Cook, the federal complaint says.

In sorting out the allegations on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams commented that the companies set up a "highly complex royalty structure."

He gave the British label a green light to pursue four of the eight claims it alleged.

The surviving claims include two counts related to the underpayment of royalties on third-party streaming services, one on the improper deduction of costs for foreign television and radio advertising, and one on the under-reporting of record club income.

It is unclear how, or whether, the dismissed claims will lower the potential $10 million reward sought by 19 Recordings.

Neither party's attorney immediately responded to a request for comment.

A status conference will take place on May 1.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.