MINDEN, Nev. (CN) — One of Ozzy Osbourne’s former band members says the rocker employed a corporate scheme to cheat him out of at least $2 million in royalty income for songwriting work on albums that catapulted Osbourne into stardom as a hard-rock solo artist in the early 1980s.
Bob Daisley, who played bass on “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman” and co-wrote some of the songs on the two classic hard-rock albums, filed a complaint this month in a Nevada court against Osbourne and his company Blizzard Music Limited (US). The company has a post office box in Stateline, Nevada, according to the suit.
The two albums, released in 1980 and 1981, are considered to be the first ones for Osbourne as a solo artist after he was fired from the band Black Sabbath and became part of a new band called The Blizzard of Ozz.
The “Blizzard of Ozz” album has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and features two well-known songs that were released as singles, “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley.” “Crazy Train” peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s rock chart and has been featured in a variety of entertainment venues.
Daisley claims that an audit done at his request in 2014 showed that Osbourne and his company had been improperly withholding royalty income through a separate sham company in the United States. That separate company received an additional fee for administering royalty payments, copyrights and commercial exploitation of the songs.
Daisley says in the lawsuit that Osbourne defrauded him “of his rightful share of income by hiding behind sham corporate entities.”
Osbourne’s representatives said the separate company, Blizzard US, was entitled to its own fee — in addition to a fee paid to Blizzard UK, an affiliated company in England — because it’s an independent sub-publisher, Daisley says.
But Daisley did not know about the arrangement to have both companies collect a fee before he received his royalty income and did not agree to it, according to the complaint, which accuses Osbourne and his company of fraud. Daisley also seeks an accounting to determine the exact income owed to him.
The auditing firm could not calculate the precise amount of the lost income, Daisley says, but it was able to estimate that at least $2 million had been withheld.
In a prepared statement, Osbourne’s publicist described the suit as harassment and said Osbourne plans to vigorously defend himself.
“Mr. Daisley has audited Blizzard Music accounts over the years using several different auditing firms who found no discrepancies,” publicist Marcee Rondan said. “He has previously filed lawsuits in the U.K. and the U.S. and has lost on each occasion.”
Calling the suit “tantamount to harassment,” she added, “We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr. Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr. Osbourne’s success.”
Daisley is represented by William Peterson and Janine Prupas of Snell & Wilmer in Reno, Nevada.
- VW Strikes Tentative|Deal With US Dealers
- Yahoo Emails