Felice Catena, sister of deceased Knack drummer Bruce Gary, has sued Capitol Records over a dispute concerning her brother’s royalties. The sole heir of Gary’s royalty earnings, Catena claims that the company underestimated the percentage of payments for digital downloads of such Knack hits as “My Sharona” and “Good Girls Don’t.” Capitol so far has paid 12 percent of net receipts, but Catena contends they owe her 50 percent.
This issue is more widespread than you might think. Record companies argue that since older recording contracts didn’t include specifications for digital downloads, they owe only the smaller sale fee rather than the larger licensing fee.
Catena should take heart in the fact that Eminem recently won a lawsuit against his record label for the very same complaint.