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Recording Industry Suits

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 1993 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Pop star Paula Abdul is the only person singing lead vocals on her 10-million-selling debut album "Forever Your Girl," a Los Angeles jury concluded Thursday. The ruling closes the book on a two-year music industry spectacle that erupted after background singer Yvette Marine filed a multimillion-dollar "false and deceptive packaging" lawsuit against Virgin Records, Abdul's record company, claiming she was an uncredited co-lead vocalist on at least two songs of the smash 1988 album.
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BUSINESS
August 31, 2001 | Reuters
Zomba Records, the powerful independent record label that is home to the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, said Thursday that it had settled a copyright infringement lawsuit with online music company MP3.com Inc., a unit of Vivendi Universal. "The parties have settled the litigation between them and resolved their differences to their mutual satisfaction and have entered into a licensing arrangement for the My.mp3 service," Zomba said in a statement. The terms were not disclosed.
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BUSINESS
January 21, 2001 | CHUCK PHILIPS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They stalked her. They choked her. They stabbed her. And after she was dead, they raped her. The 1995 murder of 15-year-old Elyse Pahler was inspired in part, one of her killers told police, by the heavy-metal music of Slayer--a popular band that specializes in misogynistic songs depicting torture and satanic sacrifice. The teenage murderers confessed to the killing years ago and are serving long prison terms. But for the victim's family, the case is not closed.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2001 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Internet-based radio broadcasters sued the Recording Industry Assn. of America on Friday in an escalating legal war over the price online companies must pay to license record labels' music. The online companies--including MTVi Group, MusicMatch Inc., Listen.com, Launch Media and XACT Radio--are asking a judge to declare that their music services are eligible for a so-called compulsory license. That license would allow them to broadcast music online for a fee set by a federal copyright panel.
BUSINESS
September 28, 1994 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In a move that could upend performers' contracts throughout the recording industry, Metallica, one of the nation's biggest-selling hard-rock groups, sued Time Warner's Elektra Entertainment on Tuesday to end its decade-long association with the Elektra label. The Grammy-winning group, which has sold an estimated 40 million albums worldwide for Elektra since 1984, is basing its claim on a controversial California law designed to free actors from long-term studio deals.
BUSINESS
August 16, 1992 | DAVID WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For 35 years, from Biloxi to Harlem, Marshall Sehorn has made his living in the watch-your-back world of the music business. Along the way he's shared the euphoria of driving a hit to the top of the charts--and the sting of deals gone wrong. There was the night at the Seltzer Club in Charlotte when he found a performer named Wilbert Harrison singing "Kansas City"--a tune that soared to No. 1 in 1959 after Sehorn signed him to a recording contract.
BUSINESS
December 6, 1997 | (Marla Matzer)
Singer Toni Braxton filed suit against La Face Records and its parent company, Arista Records, seeking to terminate her recording contract. The case, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, invokes a 50-year-old California law designed to protect movie actors from long-term studio deals. The so-called seven-year rule bars employers from enforcing personal-service contracts for more than seven years. By this measurement, the suit claims Braxton's contract should have expired in August 1996.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 1992 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Rapper Biz Markie and Warner Bros. Records have agreed to pay songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan a "substantial" financial payment to resolve a copyright infringement lawsuit by the former British pop star, sources close to the case said Tuesday. O'Sullivan filed the suit Nov. 13 in New York charging that "Alone Again," a song on Markie's "I Need a Haircut" album, contains an unauthorized 20-second slice of--or "digital sample" of--O'Sullivan's 1972 hit "Alone Again (Naturally)."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 15, 1993 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Song ' I got a tech-9 now his smokin' ass is mine . . . Comin' quickly up the streets is the punk ass police the first one jumped out and said freeze . I popped him in his knees . ' "Crooked Ass Nigga" from recording "2PACALYPSE NOW" by Tupac Amaru Shakur * Ronald Ray Howard, who was sentenced to death Wednesday by a jury here, says he can still hear the scream of the highway patrolman he gunned down 15 months ago during a routine traffic stop on a dark road near Houston.
BUSINESS
November 18, 1998 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Who owns God's Property? That issue is being contested in dueling lawsuits in federal court filed by the youth choir's director and the record label that released the God's Property debut album. B-Rite Records and director Linda Searight have each staked a claim to the Dallas-based youth choir, which burst onto the pop charts last year and marked gospel as a commercial power. Now the original choir might break up before it even receives a royalty check.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2001 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Under mounting pressure from critics, German music conglomerate Bertelsmann said Tuesday that it would share an estimated $20 million in proceeds from an online copyright-infringement lawsuit with the artists on its record labels. The move makes Bertelsmann the fifth of the five major record corporations to make public overtures about its plans to account for the tens of millions of dollars obtained from suing controversial Internet firm MP3.com Inc.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2001 | DAVID GLOVIN, BLOOMBERG NEWS
Oops. Jurors who ordered online music provider MP3.com Inc. to pay about $300,000 to an independent record label for violating copyrights have told the trial judge that they checked their math and discovered they made a mistake: What they really meant was an amount closer to $3 million, the judge said Monday. After seeing news reports about the award they handed down Friday to Tee Vee Toons, jurors on the eight-woman panel alerted U.S.
NEWS
February 28, 2001 | CHUCK PHILIPS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Just as actress Olivia de Havilland brought down the Hollywood studio system in the 1950s and outfielder Curt Flood fought for free agency in baseball in the 1970s, rock star Courtney Love is determined to radically redefine the nature of the music recording business for the next century. Love is seeking to break her contract with Vivendi Universal, the world's largest record conglomerate, and expose what she calls the "unconscionable and unlawful" business tactics of the major record labels.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2001 | JON HEALEY and P.J. HUFFSTUTTER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Attempting to settle a potentially crippling copyright-infringement suit, Napster Inc. offered Tuesday to pay record companies $1 billion over five years for the right to include their music in a new fee-based Internet song-swapping service. Company executives and Thomas Middelhoff, chief of media conglomerate Bertelsmann, implored the labels to suspend their legal assault while all the parties work out a deal.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2001 | CHUCK PHILIPS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A San Luis Obispo judge ruled late Tuesday that the parents of a slain teenage girl have failed to prove that violent music by the heavy metal band Slayer incited her murder. Still, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Burke did not dismiss a lawsuit by David and Lisanne Pahler against Slayer, but gave them 60 days to file an amended complaint citing new evidence to support their argument that the marketing of Slayer's music to minors triggered the 1995 slaying of their daughter, Elyse Pahler.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2001 | CHUCK PHILIPS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They stalked her. They choked her. They stabbed her. And after she was dead, they raped her. The 1995 murder of 15-year-old Elyse Pahler was inspired in part, one of her killers told police, by the heavy-metal music of Slayer--a popular band that specializes in misogynistic songs depicting torture and satanic sacrifice. The teenage murderers confessed to the killing years ago and are serving long prison terms. But for the victim's family, the case is not closed.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 1991 | CHUCK PHILIPS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Two multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits filed against Milli Vanilli's record company have been denied certification by a federal judge in Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
June 30, 1999 | Reuters
The founders of A&M Records will seek $200 million in a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Seagram Co.' Universal Music for allegedly dismantling the label after a merger, their lawyer said. An amended lawsuit, expected to be filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court today by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, will revise a suit brought last June against PolyGram, which bought A&M in 1989 but was itself acquired by Seagram last year.
BUSINESS
December 13, 2000 | City News Service
A jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages to two brothers who sued Death Row Records and its imprisoned owner Marion "Suge" Knight in '95 for fraud. Lamont and Ken Brumfield claim the former rap music mogul interfered with a contract they had with the artist Kurupt, also known as Ricardo E. Brown Jr. Last week the jury awarded the brothers $4.34 million in compensatory damages. Knight's attorney plans to seek a new trial.
BUSINESS
August 31, 2000 | From Associated Press
Seagram Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. testified Wednesday that he believes MP3.com purposely violated the copyrights of record companies to build an online catalog of 80,000 CDs. Bronfman's testimony in a civil trial in federal court in Manhattan was brief because Judge Jed Rakoff decided that the executive's opinions were not relevant to deciding whether MP3.com intentionally infringed on copyrights. Before the reluctant witness finished his testimony, he said he doubted MP3.
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