Aussie Indie Record Label Sued For Allegedly Ripping Off Tame Impala
Written by Emmy Mack on 2nd June, 2015
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Aussie hipster record label Modular and its co-owner, Universal Music, are being taken to court for not paying their royalty bills. Specifically, the label’s founder Steve “Pav” Pavlovic is being sued for allegedly ripping off homegrown psych rockers Tame Impala, to the tune of more than 500 large.
As News Corp reports, German entertainment behemoth BMG is dragging the music industry figure to court, to answer for unpaid Tame Impala royalties worth at least $US450,000, which at the current conversion rate equals about AU $588,150.
Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker actually alluded to the allegedly unpaid royalties during a recent Reddit AMA. At the time, he said: “Up until recently, from all of Tame Impala’s record sales outside of Australia I had received zero dollars. Someone high up spent the money before it got to me. I may never get that money.”
To break down the technical side of things, BMG owns the rights to Tame Impala’s songs courtesy of a publishing agreement with Parker. However, Modular was given a “mechanical licence” to the songs in March of last year, with the stipulation that the label would pay royalties within a 45-day timeframe each quarter. Something which, it’s alleged, never actually happened.
As The Music reports, BMG allege that they haven’t received any of the outstanding royalties owed to them by Modular and, furthermore, that the label actually continued to sell Tame Impala’s records, despite being slapped with a cease-and-desist notice over its alleged violation of BMG’s intellectual-property rights.
They’ve lodged an official complaint for damages, which can be read here, and demanded a jury trial in a New York court.
It’s the latest development in what appears to be a generally bad time over at Modular, who’ve recently haemorrhaged a number of big-name acts from their roster, including Pond, Wolfmother, Architecture In Helsinki and, of course Tame Impala.
Research by The Australian also puts them in a financial black hole, with reportedly accumulated losses of $9.3 million.
Modular is yet to file a defence in response to the allegations.
Tame Impala, meanwhile, will return to Australia this July to perform at Splendour In the Grass 2015, which should hopefully net them a few extra dollars while this whole ugly business is sorted out.
Watch: Tame Impala – Cause I’m A Man (Official Live Video)