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UMG & Musicians Close to Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Universal Music Group is close to a settlement resolving claims that it shorted recording artists on royalties from digital downloads.

The class action was filed by artists including Chuck D. of Public Enemy, Rick James (by way of trust) and Ron Tyson of The Temptations.

The artists claim that record labels should treat digital download income as "licenses" rather than "sales," which would give artists 50 percent of the income instead of the 15 percent they currently receive.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered Universal and the artists to submit a motion to approve a settlement by April 10.

She also terminated all of Universal's motions for summary judgment.

The plaintiffs are represented by Leonard Simon.Universal is represented by Jeffrey Goldman, with Jeffer Mangels in San Francisco.

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