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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
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.
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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
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
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
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.
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 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
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.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2000 | From Reuters
The Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA) will argue that song-swap company Napster Inc.'s defense that its users are not infringing copyrights has no basis in law. "We plan to explain to the court that the law is clearly not as they claim it to be," said Steve Fabrizio, a lawyer for the RIAA, concerning the brief filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The trade group represents big record companies such as Time Warner Inc.'
BUSINESS
June 17, 2000 | P.J. Huffstutter
Napster Inc., the software maker embroiled in litigation against the record industry, said it has retained David Boies, the U.S. government's lead counsel in its antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. The New York-based lawyer with Boies, Schiller & Flexner said in a statement that the Napster case "raises important questions of how the copyright laws are to be applied to this new medium." Napster's legal foes include the Recording Industry Assn. of America and music artists Metallica and Dr.
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
June 14, 2000 | P.J. HUFFSTUTTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Recording Industry Assn. of America filed evidence late Monday supporting its motion against Napster Inc., and asked the U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco to shut down the popular online song-swapping service. The trade group, along with the National Music Publishers Assn., also submitted an industry-financed study that claims record sales have plummeted at music stores near college campuses with high-speed Internet connections.
BUSINESS
November 25, 1999 | CHUCK PHILIPS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bertelsmann Music Group suffered a costly setback Wednesday when a court ruling paved the way for pop sensation 'N Sync to break its contract with the German conglomerate and release its much-anticipated follow-up album through a competitor. The move follows a lawsuit filed last month by BMG against 'N Sync and Zomba Group, accusing the company of luring away the pop group with an improper contract offer. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Orlando, Fla.
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