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'My Sharona' Drummer

Estate Sues Capitol Records

Over iTunes $$$

12/22/2011 4:27 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1222_bruce_gary_ex
Music doesn't pay like it used to -- at least according to the sister of deceased Knack drummer Bruce Gary ... who is now suing Capitol Records, claiming the company is screwing her out of hard-earned digital download money.

Gary's sister -- Felice Catena -- inherited the rights to Bruce's music after he passed away in 2006.

Now, she's filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming Capitol is shafting her ... paying only a teensy-weensy fraction of what she's owed on download proceeds for Knack hits like "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't."

According to the complaint, Capitol owes Catena not 12% ... not 25% ... but 50% of net receipts from sales of his music by iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, and others.

You see, back in the day -- recording contracts didn't contain provisions for digital downloads (obviously) ... so once iTunes came around, it wasn't clear whether to pay the artist their sale fee (around 12%-18%) or their licensing fee (around 50%).

Felice claims sales through digital distributors are actually licenses -- and she should be paid accordingly. Eminem infamously sued his record label for the same thing back in 2007 ... and won.

Good news for Ms. Catena.

22 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

jr70895    

'My Sharona' is a pretty cool song

972 days ago
2.

therock    

What??? Big deal, lets hurry up and get a Lilo update, just don't mention her mom in it!

972 days ago
3.

Bud    

Negative.

972 days ago
4.

Phreaky    

Everyone always wants something for nothing, especially relatives. I mean, take a song that sells for one dollar, divide by the company selling the song, the company that actually created the media the song is sold on, the members of the band that perform the song, the song writers, etc etc... and you have one deceased members sister demanding 50%.
Ok. Sure. Why should any of those other guys that were in the band make any money from it?
*sigh*
Hint to all future relatives of deceased band members, or band members themselves with hits pre-1980's: You need to get a regular job, doing whatever, and forget you ever earned money from music. Cuz a thousand nickels are not going to pay your bills and allow you to not work.

972 days ago
5.

haskel420    

wtf is iTunes..??

972 days ago
6.

Nvts    

Get a job.

972 days ago
7.

haskel420    

wtf is iTunes..??

972 days ago
8.

Roy    

God, as bad as this group was is there really any royalty to claim? 50% of what?

972 days ago
9.

Montezuma    

There is no difference between a musical track that is distributed "digitally" and one that is distributed by physical media. Only idiots, like this dead guy's sister, believe there is a difference. The fact is, I own the digital copies of the music I have purchased just as much as I own physical media that holds the copies of the music I have purchased.

No one can come around and take those copies from me. As such, it isn't licensed copies; it is purchase copies that I own, until the end of time.

972 days ago
10.

lisa    

hey there,
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972 days ago
11.

Willie'sNelson    

I dated a gal named Sharon once. She compared herself ta Hitler and she werent far off the mark.

Dont think this gal hear's got much chance of pullin in 50 percent of download proceeds. And I'm sure that 12 percent aint to shabby neither.

Silly problems folks make. My daughter just left on a plane. First time I've seen her in sevrel years. Wish folks still lived near one another. Worryin about moneygrubbin is right dumb. Families what counts.

972 days ago
12.

moveover    

For all the times "My Sharona" gets played these days ... she should be able to take the royalties and go buy herself a Happy Meal at McDonalds.

972 days ago
13.

lala    

Hope she wins. Music companies are notorious for taking advantage of artists and their estates.

972 days ago
14.

E    

Good for her! The record company screwed over the group; and they're hoping that just because some of them are dead they can get away with it. I hope they don't.

972 days ago
15.

E    

Product of its time though it may be, I have to admit "My Sharona" is good.

972 days ago
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