Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sly Stone To Finally Get Paid

The music industry history is littered with artists who claim they were duped into bad contracts and not paid a fair amount. There are many that claim that the internet is making things worse. There are those whose work fails to earn out and find themselves locked into a perpetual agreement. There are those who establish themselves only to find that the contract doesn’t reflect the change and is inequitable. Van Morrison claims he never earned a cent for writing and recording 'Brown Eyed Girl' and even penned a song, 'The Big Royalty Check' to vent his anger in later years. However, sometimes justice works and those who need it and were duped out of it, get their reward.

Sly and the Family Stone created a bridge between 60s and 70s white and black audiences and between soul, R&B. pop and were the fathers of funk and their driver Sly Stone was the most colourful of the band. Their hits included ‘Family Affair’, I Want To Take You Higher’ and ‘Dance to the Music’. They even appeared at Woodstock.

However, Stone found himself owed millions of dollars in royalties and has been fighting for some 5 years to get paid. Unfortunately, his fight led to years of struggle with him even being homeless and living in a van in LA. In 2013 an appeal was rejected that deemed BMI, Sony, and Warner were not liable to pay and the argument moved towards events that took place back in 1989 when Stone signed his financial control over to his lawyer Gerald Goldstein and the company Even St. Production. He claimed that they had diverted millions in royalties, leaving him unable to get the money he said was due him.

Stone, testified that he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2000 but attorneys for Goldstein and Glenn Stone contended that the singer was paid millions, but broke an agreement to make new records.

A LA jury has now found in Stone’s favour and awarded him $2.5 million in damages against Even St. Productions, $2.45 million against Goldstein and $50,000 against attorney Glenn Stone. A total of $5 million. However, the defendants claim that they will fight the ruling so the case unfortunately is likely to drag on.

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