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.