Tame Impala has found itself wrapped up in a royalties lawsuit on the eve of its Currents album being released, after Kevin Parker and company declared that they hadn't seen a cent from records sold overseas in the United States and other non-Australian markets. Universal Music Australia claims innocence.
BMG, a company that works in part to ensure the delivery of music royalties to the artists that have earned them, claims that Modular Recordings, the label for which Tame Impala is signed, and UMA have failed to turn over the correct payouts from the band's catalogue.
The lawsuit is primarily aimed at Modular founder Steve "Pav" Pavlovic...however he's no longer connected to Modular. Therefore Universal Music was somewhat surprised when it found out about the lawsuit. Furthermore, it claims that it found out about the lawsuit the same we did...through the internet.
"No documents relating to the legal claim have been served on Universal Music Australia or Modular Recordings," the company told Billboard. "It is unfortunate that Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings were not contacted by BMG about the allegations before the case was filed. Had they been contacted, BMG would have realized that the companies should not have been named in the legal claim."
UMA claims that Pavlovic now owns a separate American company that was supposed to be in touch with BMG regarding the Tame Impala royalties, and possibly those of other performers. The label head himself hasn't commented on the situation.
According to the lawsuit, Modular was supposed to turn over its royalties check within 45 days after every quarter (and it apparently didn't). BMG is seeking damages and costs of at least $450,000.