Legendary emcee Chuck D of Public Enemy has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group for underpaying royalties on digital downloads.
As Billboard reports, Chuck D has filed a class action suit against UMG in a San Francisco Federak court, alleging that “UMG routinely miscalculates the royalties owed to artists for digital downloads, such as MP3s and ringtones, by treating them as ‘sale’ of physical records rather than ‘licenses.”
Chuck D’s lawyers at Hausfeld LLP suggest that hundreds of millions of dollars have been withheld, as a statement by James Pizzirusso who is a partner in the law firm states:
“Chuck D has been ‘fighting the power’ for over two decades and will continue to do so through this suit in order to help all musicians, including many legacy artists who are living on fixed incomes.”
A UMG Spokesperson addressed the suit:
“This complaint suffers from serious flaws and weaknesses, not the least of which is that the claims asserted are not appropriate for class treatment.” As added “We will vigorously defend against it.”