One of the first lawsuits over digital royalties paid by major labels to artists has just been settled. Sony Music has agreed to pay just under $8m to artists including Cheap Trick, The Allman Brothers and the Youngbloods, who had sued over their digital sales being treated as licences rather than sales for the purpose of payouts. If the settlement is approved, artists with at least 28,500 iTunes downloads will get a significant share of the money, although lawyers will take $2.5m of it first. Billboard notes that the plaintiffs had originally sought at least $25m in damages. It also points out that if the settlement is approved, it will be legally binding on other Sony artists who qualify as class members unless they opt out. As part of the deal, artists involved will get a 3% rise in their royalty rates.

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