"Weird Al" Yankovic is reportedly suing music giant Sony Music Entertainment for $5 million because of bad business practices, which resulted in the comedy singer-songwriter and his company losing out on royalties.
"Weird Al" Yankovic filed a lawsuit accusing Sony of numerous underhanded practices, which would be a breach of contract by breaking the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Ear Booker Enterprises, Yankovic's company, first noticed what they thought was a mistake in a March 2010 audit- they let Sony know they felt their accounting was flawed.
The music moguls responded, "falsely claiming that Sony had overpaid Ear Booker $80,231 during the periods audited," according to the suit, which was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New York.
Weird Al's lawsuit alleges that Sony double-charged Ear Booker for advances, re-categorized marketing costs as production costs so that they could charge Al's company for the loss, failed to show documentation for all bills, and other dishonest dealings.
Sony "has incorrectly reported to Ear Booker the quantity of products sold, has incorrectly categorized those products, and has incorrectly paid Ear Booker for products for which it has accounted," reads the lawsuit.
In addition, Yankovic wants monies and interest on funds he would have received from settlements with peer-to-peer sharing sites like Napster, Kazaa, and Grokster. Many millions were received by Sony in suing the sites, and Weird Al claims they violated the licensing agreement by not paying him as well.
Yankovic hired the help of Richard Busch, a partner at a Nashville-based law firm who took on Universal Music, and also represented artists like Peter Frampton and Kenny Rogers. Weird Al isn't expecting to pay the high legal fees, however: his lawsuit aims to make Sony pay for Busch's services instead.
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic, an actor, comedian, satirist, and parodist, is known for his songs parodying pop culture and pop music. Songs like "Eat It" (a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It"), "Amish Paradise" (from rapper Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise"), and "It's All About the Pentiums" (from P. Diddy's "It's All About the Benjamins") have helped him sell over 12 million albums worldwide.