×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

James Mtume Sues Sony Music to Reclaim Rights to ‘Juicy Fruit,’ Other Songs

Veteran soul musician James Mtume has sued Sony Music to reclaim the rights for sound recordings he created between 1978 and 1983, including the hits “Juicy Fruit” and “Just Funnin’.” While most of the songs in question are from Mtume’s first two albums, “Juicy Fruit” was a sizable hit, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart for eight weeks in 1983 and peaking at No. 45 during a 12-week run on the Hot 100.

The suit is the latest in several wherein artists are using Section 203 of the U.S. Copyright Act, which allows authors to reclaim rights to their works after 35 years, with the clock starting at Jan. 1, 1978. Members of the Village People, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Devo and others have filed similar claims.

Contacted by Variety, a rep for Sony Music said the company had no comment.

Mtume sent a termination notice in July of 2015 that was recorded in the copyright office in November of that year, with termination dates effective in 2017 and 2018. His suit claims that Sony “waited nearly two years” before responding on July 21, 2017, more than two weeks after the first effective termination date.

Sony maintained that Mtume’s 2015 termination notice is ineffective for several reasons, including that the recordings are works made for hire; that the recordings at issue are not subject to termination pursuant to Section 203 because they were created pursuant to a grant contained in a 1977 agreement; and there may be additional potential authors other than Mtume whose grants were not noticed for termination.

Mtume disputed those assertions, which his lawsuit characterizes as frivolous, and also requests the court grant that the recordings are terminable, that the termination notice is valid, and an accounting of all post-termination income along with his attorneys’ fees and costs.

Mtume’s original contract was signed in 1977 with Zembu Productions, which two years later assigned it to CBS Records; in 1987, CBS was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment. Mtume reached a separate agreement with CBS in October of 1983.

 

 

 

More Music

  • Jimi Hendrix sound check Monterey Pop

    Film Constellation Adds ‘Show Me the Picture’ to Berlin Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales and financing house Film Constellation has added Alfred George Bailey’s feature documentary “Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall” to its Berlin market slate. The film will screen to buyers at the European Film Market ahead of its SXSW Film Festival premiere. Submarine Entertainment is handling distribution in North America. The [...]

  • Ariana GrandeBillboard's 13th Annual Women in

    Ariana Grande Announces Tracklist for 'Thank U, Next'

    Ariana Grande has provided material for a thousand memes with the release of the tracklist for her fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next.” According to an Instagram post, the tracklist for the upcoming album, to be released February 8, is as follows: Imagine Needy NASA Bloodline Fake Smile Bad Idea Make Up Ghostin In My [...]

  • DJ Snake Ozuna Selena Gomez Cardi

    Hitmaker of the Month: How Geffen's Neil Jacobson Took 'Taki Taki' to the Finish Line

    DJ Snake’s bilingual banger, “Taki, Taki,” is the latest reggaeton track to become a bona fide pop hit thanks to an alignment of stars (Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B) and the guidance of Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson. “There’s somewhat of an inexact science to making collaborative records like this,” says Jacobson, the veteran A&R [...]

  • Chris Brown rape allegation

    Chris Brown Released From Custody With No Charges Filed

    Chris Brown has been released from custody in Paris with no charges filed after being detained on rape accusations, a rep for the singer tells Variety, citing an Associated Press report. Brown and two other people, who were not identified but reports said were Brown’s bodyguard and a friend, were released at around 10 p.m. [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content