Members of Virgin Records’ the Smashing Pumpkins have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Chrysalis Music seeking to have their music publishing contract declared null and void or rescinded.
In a complaint filed Thursday in L.A. Superior Court, William Corgan, James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky said that not only was their 1992 contract with Chrysalis illegal, but the company has also breached its terms by claiming rights to songs on seven rather than only four albums.
According to the lawsuit, the ’92 contract gave Chrysalis the exclusive North American music publishing rights and an interest in the copyright for songs written by Corgan for the the group’s next four albums and any songs written by other members of the group included on any of the four albums.
The lawsuit said the agreement violated the “rule against perpetuities” because the ending date of the agreement was indefinite.
Alternatively, the lawsuit claimed Chrysalis violated the agreement by exploiting songs on five Smashing Pump-kins albums and demanding the exclusive right to exploit songs on two more albums.
The lawsuit seeks at least $10 million in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.