Music Publishers Cleared in Dru Hill Royalty Lawsuit

Music publishers have been cleared in a royalties lawsuit filed by the members of R&B group Dru Hill after a New York federal judge on Friday dismissed with prejudice the claims against them, reports Billboard.

Mark Andrews, James Green and Larry Anthony Jr. — a.k.a. Sisqo, Woody and Jazz, respectively — first sued Sony/ATV and EMI in 2015. According to their complaint, Dru Hill entered into a publishing agreement with Art of War Music Publishing in 1996, and in 2002 Art of War made an exclusive deal with EMI.

Andrews claims EMI paid more than $600,000 of his royalties to 27 Red Music, which is also a defendant in the suit, and he never received them. Anthony and Green claim EMI wrongfully paid at least $30,000 of their royalties to 27 Red.

Their second amended complaint, which was filed in June, is the one at issue in regard to this motion. The Dru Hill members sued EMI and Sony/ATV, which has administered the interests of EMI since its 2012 acquisition, for breach of implied contract and declaratory relief.

“[E]ven taking all allegations in the SAC to be true and disregarding entirely the first two complaints, Plaintiffs still fall short of stating a plausible claim to relief as against EMI and Sony,” writes U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan.

Nathan found the bandmembers failed to allege that they had an implied contract with the defendants — but, even if they had, it would have been barred by New York’s Statute of Frauds.

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Source: Black America Web / EURWeb