Published Nov 03, 2011Public Enemy frontman Chuck D has long been known for his outspoken political views, but he might just usher in some bigger changes on the business side of things with a hefty lawsuit in the works. The rap icon born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Universal Music Group to the tune of $100 million.
Chuck D filed the suit in Northern California on Tuesday (November 1) citing that UMG owes its artists "hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties" due to discrepancies regarding digital downloads and ringtones, reports Reuters.
According to the lawsuit, which will head to U.S. District Court, the record label has treated digital sales like physical products, making unnecessary deductions for containers and packaging, neither of which apply. Chuck D claims that artists and producers currently receive $80.33 for every thousand digital downloads, whereas they should be receiving $315.85.
With ringtones, it's even worse, as the label is reportedly paying out $49.89 per thousand when they should be paying $660.
Chuck D is claiming breach of contract and demanding a jury trial.
UPDATE: Also involved in this lawsuit are Rob Zombie and the estate of Rick James. A UMG spokesperson also told the Wrap the the claims in the lawsuit "are not appropriate for class treatment" and that the record company will "vigorously defend against it."