The Beatles and record company EMI are heading into court again. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison are suing. They claim EMI and its subsidiary Capitol withheld millions in royalties that should have gone to the band.
A judge in New York has ruled that the case can go ahead – denying EMI’s request for it to be dismissed. The group is asking for at least 20 million euros in damages, claiming fraud and breach of contract. They also want the band’s original master tape recordings returned to them.
This legal case has grown out of an earlier dispute in 1979 when the Beatles alleged they had been underpaid by more than 25 million euros. That case was settled out of court 10 years later, with the band getting increased royalty rates. Now they have alleged that an audit of the record companies’ books in the 1990s has uncovered allegedly deceitful behaviour such as under-reporting of sales.