Poison Sues EMI Over Royalties

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As EMI still has yet to gain a firm foothold after devastating cutbacks and a shaky standing among the Big Four, one of its long-standing cash cows is reaching deep into their dwindling pockets for a little overdue return. Hair rock brats Poison have accused EMI Music Marketing and the company’s subsidiary label, Capitol, of underpaying royalties and last week filed the case with Los Angeles Supreme Court.

As EMI still has yet to gain a firm foothold after devastating cutbacks and a shaky standing among the Big Four, one of its long-standing cash cows is reaching deep into their dwindling pockets for a little overdue return. Hair rock brats Poison have accused EMI Music Marketing and the company’s subsidiary label, Capitol, of underpaying royalties and last week filed the case with Los Angeles Supreme Court. Specifically, the band has cited improper categorization of record sales and clumsy usage of producer royalties and foreign taxes.

After signing to Enigma Records in 1986, which later passed control over to Capitol Records, Poison claims to have attempted an audit of its records. For undisclosed reasons, Capitol reportedly refused full cooperation with the band. As a result, Poison say they cannot determine a dollar amount, but have asked the ruling judge to demand full disclosure of all the band’s records for a once-and-for-all account.

Whether or not the lawsuit pushes forward has yet to be seen, but Capitol can’t say Bret Michaels didn’t warn them from the get-go. For as much as Poison was a rosy investment in the ’80s, it’s proven true that their thorns make for huge pricks.



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