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Warner suing EMI over Fox catalogue

By | Published on Monday 3 July 2017

Warner/Chappell

Warner/Chappell is suing EMI Music Publishing in a dispute over royalties due on a catalogue of music that began with the 20th Century Fox film company.

Through a long sequence of deals and acquisitions that date back to the 1930s, Warner’s publishing business has an interest in the Fox catalogue of compositions, but it is actually administered by EMI.

This basically means it is now administered by Sony/ATV, which owns a chunk of the EMI music publishing company – though it has other shareholders too, so is technically still a standalone entity.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner/Chappell says that a preliminary audit of royalties collected in relation to the Fox catalogue indicates that EMI has underreported and underpaid Warner the monies it is due by about 50%. Which is quite a lot.

Warner/Chappell went legal in the LA courts on Friday, and also says that its audit of the Fox repertoire has raised concerns about royalties paid on other catalogues where a similar relationship between the two music publishing firms exists.

To that end, it asked that the court order EMI “to account for all sums outstanding, due and payable to Warner under all the agreements pursuant to which EMI administers the copyrights to the compositions on behalf of Warner throughout the applicable territories”.

And why not, I say.



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