A suit filed by singer/songwriter/actor/producer Ruben Blades against his former record and publishing companies is set to go to trial March 8 in New York Federal court.
The suit, filed by Blades Sept. 5, 2002, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, names Fania Records, Inc.; Vaya Records, Inc.; Musica Latin Internacional, Inc.; Vaya Publishing Co. Ltd.; Fania Publishing, Inc.; Vev Plub, Inc. and Sonido, Inc. as defendants. All companies are or were part of the Latin music enterprise owned by the late Gerald Massuci, who recorded some of the biggest names in the genre. In the 1970s, Blades was signed to Fania Records, and released some of his most famous recordings through the label.
Among other claims, the suit accuses the companies of failure to pay recording royalties, failure to pay publishing royalties and copyright infringement. Blades also alleges that several of the companies named in the suit have unlawfully exploited compositions that he owns in full.
This isn’t the first time Blades and his former companies have clashed. In 1984, Blades filed a similar complaint, reaching a settlement with all parties the following year. Blades claims the defendants have not adhered to the Court-ordered terms of the settlement. Since 2000, Blades’ publishing has been administered by Sony/ATV.