« Cases and Current Investigations

Digital Download Litigation

March 2014

Hausfeld LLP represents recording artists, including Chuck D of Public Enemy and William McLean and Andres Titus of the Black Sheep, that have brought claims against the "Big 3" record labels: UMG Recordings, Warner Music, and EMI. These lawsuits allege that the record labels have breached certain contracts with recording artists by underpaying them for digital download (i.e., mp3s) and ringtones revenue. In particular, the complaints allege that the record companies have been paying their artists the lower "sales royalty rate" (generally 10-12%) when they should have been paying their artists much higher "license royalty rate" (genearlly 50%). Hausfeld LLP has been appointed co-lead counsel for the putative classes in the UMG and Warner cases.

On January 23, 2014, the Northern District of California preliminarily approved an $11.5 million settlement in the Warner case. For more information on this settlement, including information on whether you are entitled to participate, please visit 

Litigation in the UMG and EMI cases remains ongoing. 

Practice Areas: Deceptive Business Practices and Consumer Protection, Sports and Entertainment


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