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'American Idol' Ringtone: Sue, Sue, Sue Me

6/12/2010 4:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

061010_american_idol"American Idol" band members are suing the hand that feeds them because, according to legal docs obtained by TMZ, they're being grossly underfed.

In a federal lawsuit filed Friday, the American Federation of Musicians claims American Idol Productions made a deal with the band on the show which makes the tunes the whole world sings -- a deal that prohibits "Idol" from cutting the band out of downloads and ringtones of the music played on the show.

Short story ... Since the 4th season "Idol" honchos have been "selling digitally-encoded audio files containing those soundtracks."  The suit claims some of the audio files were sold as songs and some as ringtones.

According to the suit, "Idol" execs never got permission from the musicians to make the sale, in violation of the union agreement..

The suit asks for minimum $500,000 damages and a contribution to the musician's pension fund.

4 COMMENTS

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1.

Ben from Baltimore    

First, American Idol's producers choose to offer Paula Abdul less because she is female and now this? Why am I not surprised.

1490 days ago
2.

Big Mamma Cornbread    

handle your business....they are so correct and deserving of their fair share of the profits from their hard work that is being sold for profit with out their approval...bravo to you...

1488 days ago
3.

Blarg Blargenson    

Is TMZ.com owned by Fox? There's a lot missing from this article that is clearly stated in other online news. The musicians have a clearly worded contract with the producers saying the musicians must be compensated for digital music, such as ring tones etc. A contract means that BOTH parties agreed to all the provisions. Therefore, the producers are violating the agreement. I can't help but notice the overwhelmingly skewed view of this article.

1473 days ago
4.

Mark    

Hi. What about American Idol new season? And what about Simon Cowell? I read here: http://americanidolringtones.com that "Simon Cowell has left the show"... Is it true!!??

1290 days ago

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