Published Apr 01, 2012From his surprisingly versatile back catalogue to recent appearances on 30 Rock and at the Godspeed You! Black Emperor-curated Nightmare Before Christmas fest, "Weird Al" Yankovic genuinely comes across like an easygoing, down-for-whatever kind of dude. One thing he won't let slide, however, is unpaid royalties, especially when they pile up to the multimillion range.
As such, Billboard has reported that Al has filed a lawsuit to the tune of $5 million against Sony Music through his Ear Booker Enterprises company. Al alleges that Sony has not been paying out his royalties correctly, suggesting that they took improper and duplicate recoupments. Similarly, he suggests that the company has only been paying him straight-forwad royalties instead of the 50 percent of revenues that his licensing deal demands.
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Sony hasn't shared the money it made from lawsuit settlements against Napster, Kazaa and Grokster. Similarly, when Sony received an equity stake in YouTube in exchange for content, Al's "White and Nerdy" was one of the most popular videos on the site, meaning that the artist could deserve a portion of that equity.
Sony did not reply to requests for comment from Billboard.