Pop superstar Michael Jackson has sued Universal Music Group, claiming he is owed royalties on recordings he and the Jackson 5 made in the early 1970s for Motown Records, which is now part of the Vivendi Universal music group.
Suit, filed Friday in L.A. Superior Court by Martin Singer, stems from an alleged breach of a 1975 lawsuit. According to the complaint, Jackson and Motown sued each other in 1975 for royalties and the parties’ continuing obligations under the contract. Under a 1980 settlement agreement, Jackson waived rights to receive royalties on certain solo recordings and recordings by the Jackson 5 in exchange for future royalties on what the settlement defines as “new product.” Jackson alleges that Motown has been licensing Jackson 5 material for commercial purposes including advertisements without his consent and without accounting for royalties.
Complaint seeks unspecified damages, including the return of $100,000 paid in settlement of the 1975 action.