LOS ANGELES (CN) – Singer-songwriter Dev (Devin Star Tailes) asked a Superior Court judge to void an agreement that gives her managers, attorney and their record label a whopping 75 percent of her income.
For more entertainment news, click here to read Courthouse News’ Entertainment Law Digest.
Devin Star Tailes, who performs as ‘Dev,’ claims she was only 18 when attorney Joshua Andriano and managers Benjamin Willis and Carlo Fox duped her into signing with their record label, Indie-Pop LLC aka Indie-Pop Music.
She sued all of them, in Superior Court.
Dev claims that the “one-sided” 2008 agreement, and amended agreements she signed in 2011 and this year, are “null and void” because they not only give the record label the “lion’s share” of her income but extend beyond the 7-year maximum allowed under California employment law.
“On or about June 6, 2008, defendants gave Tailes an onerous, one-sided agreement for her to sign (the ‘purported 2008 agreement’), and represented to her that it would allow defendants to serve as her ‘manager,'” the complaint states. “Defendants did not provide plaintiff with independent legal counsel to review the agreement, or give her legal advice regarding it. Defendants knew that plaintiff did not have any independent legal counsel of her own, and represented to her that defendant Andriano was a licensed attorney and would look out for her legal interests. Plaintiff – only 18 years old and with only a high school education – did not understand the terms of the document put before her to sign.”
Dev claims the managers told her she “could lose out on important opportunities if she did not the sign the document right away,” and “showered” her with “flattery and praise, … made lofty statements to her regarding her future career, and manipulated her into believing that she could trust them fully.”
She claims she was “pressured and manipulated” to sign the 2011 and 2012 amendments to the 2008 agreement.
She says the agreement violates state labor laws and includes “numerous onerous provisions,” from which the label receives 75 percent of Dev’s publishing income, worldwide copyrights, merchandising rights and touring income.
The agreement also gives the label rights “in perpetuity” to worldwide copyrights and merchandising, even after the agreement expires or is terminated, Dev says.
“Moreover, since mid-2008, defendants have been deducting excessive expenses ‘off the top’ of Tailes’ income, before Tailes is paid, and many of the expenses charged are unwarranted and not standard in the industry. As a result of defendants’ actions, Tailes has received a very small percentage of her income, and defendants have paid themselves the lion’s share,” the complaint states.
Dev appeared on Far East Movement’s 2010 hit “Like a G6,” and released her first single “Bass Down Low” later that year on the (nonparty) record label, Universal Republic.
She is represented by Charles Harder with Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin.
She seeks rescission of contract, an accounting, restitution and compensatory and punitive damages for breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, professional negligence, legal malpractice, unfair business practices, and money had and received.
Indie-Pop did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.