Aimee Mann Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Over Digital Royalties
July 23, 2013
Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann has filed a complex lawsuit against little-known digital rights clearinghouse MediaNet, which could lead to almost $18 million in damages. Thanks to Pink Floyd, Thom Yorke and other artists, musicians' digital rights have been in the spotlight all summer long.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, MediaNet has provided Mann's songs to a number of online services and sites, though it doesn't have the rights to her music nor does it pay her any royalties# Mann used to have a distribution agreement with MediaNet, but she attempted to end the deal in 2005 and hasn't been paid any royalties from it since September of 2005 (save a $20 check she received, and returned, this past March).
Mann's lawyer, Maryann Marzano, told The Hollywood Reporter, "Not only does this case seek redress for Aimee Mann against one of the world's largest but least known providers of online music, it also serves as a call to other artists to follow the lead set by Radiohead and Pink Floyd to put an end to the unlicensed, uncompensated use of their music by online services."
MediaNet has a complicated back history, as it was founded in 1999 as a venture backed by EMI, AOL, BMG and RealNetworks before being sold to a private equity firm in 2005. THR describes the company now as "essentially a white label that serves up more than 22 million songs to over 40 music services." While services such as Pandora and Spotify have reached licensing agreements with the labels and worked with the Copyright Royalty Board, MediaNet has not. A lawsuit from last year claimed that 23 percent of MediaNet's catalog is unlicensed.
You can read the many details of Mann's suit against MediaNet here.