19 Recording Sues Sony Music

Sony Music Entertainment is under fire for allegedly breaching contracts and underpaying royalties to former “American Idol” contestants such as Kelly ClarksonCarrie Underwood, and Kellie Pickler.

Photo: Wade Payne / Invision / AP
CMA Awards, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.

A lawsuit filed Feb. 20 in U.S. District Court in New York by 19 Recordings, a subsidiary of Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, claims Sony shorted the record label and the performers on at least $10 million in payments because of “systematically incorrect calculations.”

Other artists mentioned in the suit are Clay AikenChris Daughtry, and Jordin Sparks.

The lawsuit says the alleged discrepancies are for streaming royalties and incorrectly deducted amounts for television ads.

The alleged discrepancies were discovered during two audits of Sony’s records.

Sony reps are accused of not supplying all records and documentation. 19 Entertainment chief Jason Morey told the Tennessean that several attempts to work things out with Sony were to no avail.

“We did not want to have to file this lawsuit but Sony left us no choice, so this became necessary to protect our artists,” Morey said. “Our complaint lays out the claims in great detail. Everything we have to say about the case is set forth in it.”

19 Recording seeks compensatory damages of more than $7 million and interest of more than $3 million as well as attorney fees and audit costs.