Why a Grammy-Nominated Music Producer Is Suing the Major Music Companies - EpicNews

Grammy-nominated producer Michael Stokes has filed a lawsuit in opposition to quite a few main music industry entities for copyright infringement, conversion and intentional interference with potential financial benefit, unfair enterprise practices, unjust enrichment and monetary elder abuse.

Stokes, also called a composer, author, musician and writer, has labored with the likes of Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Prince and Earth Wind & Hearth, whereas his music has been sampled and utilized by Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, LL Cool J, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and extra.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in United States District Court docket in California, Stokes calls out Common Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Leisure, The Bicycle Music Firm, Kobalt Music Group and Harmony Music Group.

In 2010, Stokes suffered a stroke that “incapacitated him and rendered him unable to handle or supervise the musical empire he had created over the course of a number of many years,” the grievance, obtained by Rolling Stone, says. Whereas he was incapacitated, Stokes claims his signature was allegedly cast on a number of paperwork that moved his copyrights and attendant rights over to the previous Music Publishing Firm of America (MPCA). The go well with claims that MPCA then bought or transferred mentioned rights to Bicycle Music Firm, the place “substantial earnings” was earned in a vogue that Stokes’ legal professional, Paul Phillips, is contemplating realizing and illegal. (Bicycle would subsequently be absorbed by Kobalt and Harmony.)

In keeping with the go well with, UMG, Warner and Sony finally went on to “wrongfully [accept] earnings arising from Mr. Stokes’ copyright and attendant pursuits and [make] funds to defendants Bicycle, Kobalt and Harmony on earnings arising from Mr. Stokes’ copyright and attendant pursuits.”

Philips argues that the entire defendants had been made conscious of mentioned habits and, regardless of that information — and Stokes’ requests to stop accepting earnings and making funds — the defendants continued with their actions.

Philips and Stokes are claiming the willful misappropriation, illegal licensing, copying, promoting and exploitation of Stokes’ authentic works for monetary achieve. They’re asking that the quantity of damages be decided in courtroom, however he may additionally elect to hunt $150,000 in statutory damages per willful infringement.

Philips additionally states that “Mr. Stokes is entitled to an award of exemplary damages in quantities ample to punish and make an instance of defendants.” His legal professional insists on Stokes receiving the defendants’ income that had been obtained as ill-gotten good points.

The go well with additionally claims that the defendants “undermined Mr. Stokes’ efforts to protect the financial enterprise relationships and goodwill he spent many years forming and creating,” together with concealing details related to his copyrights. Common, particularly, was referred to as out for concealing their information of the state of affairs.

Moreover, Stokes seems to be making an attempt to ban the defendants — alongside their companions and workers — from “immediately and/or not directly gathering any funds deriving from or arising in any method associated to any proper loved and/or owned by Mr. Stokes and guarded by the Copyright Act…” There are not any agreements pertaining to the funds they’re in search of, and that’s the issue, they are saying. In keeping with Philips, these funds belong rightfully to Michael, and at all times have.

Reps for UMG, WMG, SME, Kobalt and Harmony didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Common on Rolling Stone