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Queen, GnR producer files lawsuit against Sony claiming $1m in unpaid royalties


Veteran producer Roy Thomas Baker has filed a lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment claiming $1 million in unpaid royalties from 21 Journey songs.

Baker is perhaps most famous for producing Queen hit Bohemian Rhapsody but also has a number of iconic rock albums from the likes of Journey, Guns N’ Roses, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne to his name.

Barker’s lawsuit claims that Sony was supposed to pay him royalties for production work on the master recordings for 21 Journey songs released over their Infinity and Evolution albums and later compiled on a Greatest Hits album, which sold more than 80 million worldwide.

According to the claim, an audit of Sony’s accounts showed that Baker’s royalties had been underreported by more than $475,000 for the period audited.

It also claims that Sony is refusing to release documents that could uncover further underreporting since the audit. Baker estimates that more than $500,000 in royalties may have been underreported before the audit.

The lawsuit states: “There was no way for plaintiff to know of this fraud by Sony because of its concealment, and plaintiff reasonably relied to his detriment.”

Baker also claims that Sony charged deductions on CDs and foreign digital downloads that were either not allowed or not in the original producer agreement. He further claims that Sony has not paid him royalties for Journey’s Departure album and Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997 as well as music and ringtones downloaded from major digital music services.

Overall, Baker and his company RTB Audio Visual Productions have demanded that Sony Music Entertainment (Sony Music ex-Japan) pays $1 million and half of its net receipts from leasing the master recordings.