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Survivor Sue Sony Over Eye Of The Tiger

Survivor

Survivor founding members have definitely had to fight to survive against Sony, as they are suing the record label giant over their massive 1982 single, Eye Of The Tiger. 

According to Billboard, Frank Sullivan and James Peterick filed the suit in their hometown of Illinois, alleging that the label owes them royalties equal to fifty percent of Sony’s net receipts from licensing of the Survivor Masters, specifically tied up in digital income.

Sony Music responded rather threateningly as they warned the pair that the "nuclear option" will be invoked if they choose to persist with the lawsuit. The label has allegedly been treating digital downloads as sales of records, not licenses to unaffiliated third party download providers like iTunes.

An extract from the suit reads: “Indeed, a Sony representative threatened that in the event Survivor persisted in its objection, Sony would exercise what it termed ‘the nuclear option’ – removal of the Survivor Masters from the songs licensed to iTunes for download by consumers, thereby wiping out that revenue stream altogether […] By threatening ‘the nuclear option,’ Sony has conceded that its transaction with iTunes is a license subject to termination, and not a sale, of the Survivor Masters to iTunes. If it was a sale, Sony would have no right to demand return of the songs.”

Sullivan and Peterick also claim that Sony stiffed them during promotion and marketing, charging them improperly and deducting costs from royalties.

The music industry leans more toward online downloads, which means the classification of the term 'sale' has become blurry. As a result we can see an increase in legal action over record contracts that predate the launch of iTunes in 2003. Artists, such as the Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks and Weird Al Yankovic, have all taken their respective labels to count over digital royalties in an effort to make the industry treat digital revenue as 'licensing' or 'other' income in their contracts. 

Sullivan and Peterick seek similar damages; alongside compensation, they have also requested an injunction that stops Sony Music from taking back music from digital outlets.

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