Allman Case Ramblin’ On

A U.S. District Court Judge in New York has denied a motion by Universal Music Group to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Allman Brothers Band seeking back payment for digital download royalties.

The band’s suit claims that UMG has failed to pay the Allman Brothers Band sufficiently for songs licensed to third-party marketplaces like iTunes, instead basing royalty rates on contracts negotiated in the ’80s and ’90s.

“We are pleased that the Allman Brothers Band will now have the opportunity to show the court how badly UMG has treated the band and to finally receive a fair share of the many millions of dollars UMG has made from the band’s work,” ABB manager Bert Holman said in a statement.

Holman contends the band’s 1970s and ’80s label, Capricorn, “took advantage of the band’s inexperience at the time” and failed to pay royalties before “going bankrupt from mismanagement.”

Polygram acquired the ABB recordings in the bankruptcy and was ultimately acquired by UMG. “UMG had nothing to do with the creation of these recordings, incurred no risk or cost, and never had to spend a dime marketing them or promoting the band,” Holman said.

“It is outrageous that UMG refuses to honor its contract with the band and pay a fair share of the money it receives when it licenses the recordings to third parties like iTunes and simply sits back and collects a fee whenever iTunes licenses a download.”

The case is in the discovery phase and is set to go to trial in early 2010.