“Weird Al” Yankovic Reaches Settlement in $5 Million Lawsuit

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

Perhaps the biggest debate going on in music law today involves streaming audio services such as Spotify and video services such as YouTube. While consumers see these services as a great way to listen to all the music they want on their personal computers or portable devices, the record industry – desperate after years of declining sales and illegal downloading – sees them as a way to generate some revenue.

At the same time, many artists have been loudly complaining about the small amounts of money they are receiving each time someone plays their music online. Prominent, trend-setting musicians such as David Byrne and Thom Yorke have chimed with their takes on this argument in the past year, but it was “Weird Al” Yankovic who recently reached a settlement in a dispute that involved .

Yankovic’s company, Ear Booker, filed suit against Sony Music in 2012, alleging numerous misdoings that deprived the parodist of his rightful earnings. Among these allegations, Yankovic argued that he should get a share of the money Sony makes through a licensing deal it struck with Internet giant Google to show Sony music videos on YouTube.

Yankovic argued that the popularity of his song “White and Nerdy” in 2006 gave Sony greater leverage in its negotiations for that licensing deal, and that he should therefore share in the revenues. He also demanded shares of the revenue coming in from other online services, such as Spotify.

In the lawsuit, Yankovic alleged a total of $5 million in damages. The case was recently settled for an undisclosed amount.

As technology changes, the entertainment industry struggles to keep up with new formats and new trends in consumption. At the same, artists and industry alike are unsure how to protect their copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property amid this ever-changing landscape. All those who work in Florida’s entertainment industry need legal guidance from professionals who keep up with all these changes.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “ ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Settles $5 Million Lawsuit Against Sony Music,” Eriq Gardner, Dec. 18, 2013

Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!