Richard Pryor Sues UMG Over Comedy CDs
Comedian Richard Pryor has sued Universal Music Group for allegedly marketing and selling 11 of his recordings without having the license to do so.Comedian Richard Pryor has sued Universal Music Group for allegedly marketing and selling 11 of his recordings without having the license to do so.
Pryor's suit, filed last Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages for unfair competition, conversion, unjust enrichment and other claims. UMG representatives said they had not seen the case and could not comment.
According to the complaint, it took years for Pryor to realize that UMG was claiming to have licensed such titles as "Are You Serious?," "Wizard of Comedy," "Black Ben and the Blacksmith," "Richard Pryor," "I Ain't Lied Yet" and "Everything's Big."
Pryor now accuses the company of "reaping substantial profits from [the recordings] without ever having acquired any rights in such recordings."
The case claims that UMG, through its PolyGram Records, sought to acquire rights to the recordings via a contract with Found Money Inc., which was to acquire the rights through MB Music Inc. The contract also called for the rights to revert back to Found Money if the recordings were not released in a defined period, the suit said.
It is claimed that UMG purported to retain the rights even after they had reverted back to Found Money.