Musicians Union Pension Fund Sues 5 Record Labels Over Music Streaming

The American Federation of Musicians’ pension fund has filed suit against five top record companies, claiming that they failed to make pension contributions on revenues from certain digital transmissions of their music catalogs. Defendants in the suit, which was filed today in federal court in New York (read it here), are Atlantic Recording Corp., Warner Bros Records, Hollywood Records, Universal Music Group Recording and Sony Music Entertainment.

The suit claims that the companies failed to make pension fund payments from foreign audio streaming revenues and money garnered from foreign and domestic ringtones. The union says independent auditors discovered the discrepancies last year and that attempts to reconcile the dispute outside of court had been going on for several months but recently broke off.

“The record companies should stop playing games about their streaming revenue and pay musicians and their pension fund every dime that is owed,” said AFM President Ray Hair. “Fairness and transparency are severely lacking in this business. We are changing that.”

This latest suit –the fifth the union has filed against major media companies for contract violations in the past few months — seeks payment for all missing revenue owed the pension fund, as well as late payment penalties, interest, damages and legal costs

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