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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
16.

Superman    

Irony! The music industry uses "licensing" as the reason for suing people that allow internet users to download FREE copies of their store bought CDs. Nevermind the fact that the people posting a mp3 don't receive any money for it. I hate music companies. They are just as greedy and selfish as any Wall Street corporation! They all are due some bad karma.

1033 days ago
17.

Vinsetta    

Her brother is a huge defense attorney here in Detroit. He was Dr. Jack Kevorkian's personal attorney for years. I heard all he wanted for pay for his first case was for Jack to give him the suicide machine.

1032 days ago
18.

Kyle    

guess Bruce Gary has a co-write on the song.
I thought it was solely composed by Doug Fielder lead singer / guitarist.
Otherwise what right does Bruce's sister (he played with a lot of other artists besides The Knack btw. A very good musician he was)has to a cut of the profits.

1032 days ago
19.

disinter    

Record company screws over the artists and the fans. They have NO PROBLEM suing anyone. Sorry but I am not shedding tears for billionaires.

1032 days ago
20.

David Leigh Noblett    

I say go for it. Those labels have been fleesing artists for years and still do in most cases.

David Leigh Noblett

1031 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2

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