Pryor Sues UMG

Richard Pryor has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group for allegedly marketing and selling nearly a dozen of his recordings without permission.

The complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court October 12th, seeks unspecified damages for unjust enrichment, unfair competition, conversion and other charges.

The suit also asks for an accounting of profits made within the last four years and a temporary restraining order to stop UMG from further sales of the recordings.

Pryor claims PolyGram Records, a division of UMG, sought to acquire use of his recordings via a contract with Found Money Inc., which acquired the rights through MB Music Inc. The contract said rights would revert back to Found Money if they weren’t used within a certain period of time.

UMG is accused of claiming it retained the rights to the comedian’s recordings after they reverted back to Found Money.

“[Found Money] and MB admit that they did not pass any rights in the recordings to any division of Universal,” the lawsuit states.

It claims UMG’s conduct has put a wrench in Pryor’s talks with other labels to release a compilation DVD set of his work.

A court hearing has been scheduled for February 9th.