Michael McDonald sues label over $500K in unpaid royalties

Monday, May 21, 2012 at 4:56pm

Singer Michael McDonald is the latest Nashville-based artist to take his record label to task over unpaid royalties.

McDonald filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday accusing Warner Bros. Records of knowingly withholding profits obtained from “non-disc” recordings like music downloads and ring tones.

Country singer Kenny Rogers filed a similar suit against Capitol Records through the same law firm, King & Ballow, in February.

According to McDonald's lawsuit, Warner owes him at least $500,000.

“The failure to pay McDonald appropriately for permanent downloads, mastertones, and ringtones, is, upon information and belief, part of a conscious decision by Warner, and others in the music business to deprive artists of their proper royalties,” the lawsuit reads.

McDonald and Warner's agreement dates back to 1979. The lawsuit claims that “Warner had a strong, but unlawful financial incentive to incorrectly pay McDonald” for his master recordings that were being licensed to online and mobile providers.

McDonald won four Grammys during his time as a singer with the Doobie Brothers in the late 1970s. He currently lives in Franklin.

2 Comments on this post:

By: fightcrib on 5/22/12 at 11:17

Michael McDonald suing Bugs Bunny? Wth? What is the world coming to?

By: fightcrib on 5/22/12 at 11:35

Actually, I have always wanted to start a fast-food restaurant called "Michael McDonald's". It would kind of be like the restaurant called "McDowell's" from the movie "Coming to America." We would serve something like the BigMac, except no frontin, son no seeds on the bun! Also my version would not have trans fats.

Also, I would be pumping tunes like "Minute by Minute" and "What a fool Believes". Just sayin..