Some More (Of the Same Ol’) Record Biz [7:27 am]
“I find myself in the ludicrous position of being sued by my own record company, whom I have been loyal, industrious and reliable to for over 20 years,” Madonna said in a statement, her first comment since the two sides filed dueling lawsuits late last month. “For them to behave this way is nothing short of treason.”
[...] The object of the tussle is a boutique record label. Maverick, created in 1992, experienced its biggest success with Ms. Morissette, the singer and songwriter whose “Jagged Little Pill” (1995) has sold 14 million copies and is the one of the best-selling albums of all time, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales in the United States. Eight of the 10 albums from Maverick that have sold more than one million copies were released before the venture with Warner Music was renegotiated in 1999. Its roster also includes the singer and songwriter Michelle Branch and bands like Deftones and the Prodigy. In 2003 Maverick releases accounted for a little more than half of 1 percent of album sales in the United States.
Mr. Bronfman declined to comment on the suits, but Will Tanous, a company spokesman, issued a statement repeating Warner Music’s statement in the lawsuit that Maverick has been unprofitable for the last five years. In its complaint Warner Music says that Maverick has amassed more than $60 million in losses since 1999, and would have to repay $92.5 million before it could buy out Warner’s’ half of the joint venture.
[...] Among numerous charges, the Maverick complaint says that Warner Music manipulated figures to show that Maverick was losing money by not crediting it with the profits generated by the manufacturing, distribution and international sales of Maverick CD’s. If profits were properly accounted, Mr. Fields, a well-known Hollywood lawyer, said, they would show that Maverick has made $100 million for Warner.