In 1975, the band Styx and their song “Lady” introduced a new style of theatrical rock and roll to the world. Thirty-eight years later and the rock band is now attempting to recuperate money from that song and various other hits including “Babe,” “The Best Of Times,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Mr. Roboto,” and others.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday, the band claims that A&M Records cheated them out of millions in royalty payments. According to the rock band, A&M created a “phony business model” that allowed it to hide “royalty obligations.”
Like other recently filed royalty lawsuits, Styx focuses much of its efforts on examining digital downloads and ringtone rights.
The lawsuit claims that, for every one dollar Styx has earned over the years, “it should have been paid, or credited anywhere between TWO and FIVE dollars.”
The band is suing for unspecified damages — to be prove at trial — which likely means even the band members are uncertain of exactly how much cash A&M Records stole from them.
This lawsuit will be closely watched by music industry executives. In recent years, the growing popularity of Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s MP3 store, and streaming service such as Spotify and Pandora have led artists to question how much of the profit from their songs they are receiving. It has been discovered at trial that at least several company’s have failed to properly report digital revenue share earnings or have unfairly taken larger cuts of those profits.
Styx is not commenting publicly about its lawsuit at this time.