Blix Street Records has sued the parents of the late vocalist Eva Cassidy and a film producer, alleging that they breached rights to the singer's recordings held by the label.

Blix Street Records has sued the parents of the late vocalist Eva Cassidy and a film producer, alleging that they breached rights to the singer's recordings held by the label.

In the suit, filed Monday (March 15) in California Superior Court in L.A., Blix Street alleges that Hugh and Barbara Cassidy signed a 1997 agreement with the label, giving it exclusive rights to release all recordings by their daughter, who died of melanoma in November 1996.

Thanks to extensive radio and TV coverage, Blix Street's 1998 Cassidy album "Songbird" became a major international hit. The label claims in the suit that Cassidy's posthumous recordings have sold more than 6 million units worldwide, and that the Cassidys have received more than $5 million from Blix Street.

The suit claims that after meeting with a man named Allen Gelbard, who wanted to produce a film about Cassidy's life, Blix Street decided not to grant synchronization licenses for the film soundtrack. Nonetheless, the Cassidys partnered with Gelbard to produce the film.

Thereafter, the action alleges, the Cassidys, Gelbard and their company, Eva Cassidy Partners LLC, tried to breach Blix Street's contract. In one purported instance, the Cassidys insisted that the owners of a group of recordings by the act Method Actor (which featured Eva Cassidy) be allowed to grant synch licenses for the film, in violation of Blix Street's rights.

The suit claims that the defendants threatened to secure synch licenses from other third parties to circumvent Blix Street's rights, and undertook "a campaign of harrassment" against the label. It also alleges that the Cassidys have denied the exclusive nature of their contract with the label.

The suit seeks compensatory, exemplary and punitive damages to be determined; a judicial determination of Blix Street's exclusive rights to the Cassidy recordings; and a right to refuse the granting of synch rights for the proposed feature film.'

Neil Fischer, a Los Angeles attorney who represents the Cassidys, said he had not seen a copy of the action.

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