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James Taylor Seeking Almost $2 Million in Royalty Underpayment Lawsuit

JamesTaylor.comJames Taylor has joined the list of famous artists bringing their record labels to court for allegedly underpaying them for digital sales of their recordings.  According The Hollywood Reporter, the acclaimed singer/songwriter filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday claiming that Warner Bros. Records owes him for about $2 million in back royalties.

As with other similar cases launched by other artists in recent years, Taylor's suit claims that his old record company has been paying him a much lower royalty rate than he is due on revenue earned by the digital versions of his tunes.

Taylor, who was on the Warner Bros. roster from early in his career until the late 1970s, negotiated the right to audit Warner's accounting of his music sales.  These periodic audits allegedly turned up a number of sources of underpayments, such as overseas sales, budget releases and the unsanctioned use of Taylor's tunes on select compilations.  The suit also claims Warner Bros. short-changed Taylor with regard to a settlement the company won against the Napster file-sharing service.

According to the lawsuit, Warner Bros. disputes Taylor's claim that he is entitled to a higher royalty rate on his digital recording sales.

Among the musicians involved in similar lawsuits are Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald, Toto, Kenny Rogers and Sister Sledge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio