The Wrap

May 14, 2021

By Daniel Goldblatt

Marks accuses the company of underreporting international streaming revenue

David Marks, an early member of The Beach Boys, has filed a class action lawsuit against UMG Recordings in which he accuses the company of shorting its artists millions of dollars from international streaming revenue.

According to the lawsuit, filed in California federal court on Thursday, Marks says that UMG is “contractually required to pay artists a portion of the international revenue it receives from the exploitation of Plaintiff and Class Members’ artistic works from digital streaming.”

Marks says that UMG has been underreporting revenue generated from foreign sales and thus paying its artists less than he believes they are owed. He says that UMG does not disclose this income to its artists and “essentially conceals and keeps a portion of the international streaming revenues generated by its foreign affiliates without accounting for or paying a fair share to Plaintiff and Class Members.”

Marks believes the amount owed to various artists exceeds $5 million but wants to do a full accounting of UMG’s financials to determine the exact amount. He is suing for breach of contract and fraud, among other claims.

UMG did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.