*ATLANTA – Music industry veteran Bu Thiam was sued in Atlanta on Friday for $3 million dollars after allegedly failing to pay royalties to songwriter Maurice “Verse” Simmonds.
The lawsuit filed in Fulton County requests a full accounting from Thiam and his company Bu Vision. The company signs songwriters to share in the income on their song placements. But, the lawsuit states that Simmonds, known in the industry as “Verse”, has not been accounted for his hit songs.
“I’ve written for the likes of Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj and Trey Songz, to just name a few and still have not been paid for nearly a decade,” Simmonds said in discussing the suit. The lawsuit requests that the Court order Thiam to place all monies in a trust pending the outcome of the suit.
“We have tried to work with Mr. Thiam and his representatives for over a year to resolve things and it is most unfortunate that Brothers have to end up in Court fighting it out over something that contractually should have been honored, i.e., paying the man what is due to him,” said Attorney James L. Walker, Jr. (@jameswalkerjresq) of Atlanta-based Walker & Associates which filed the lawsuit with his co-counsel Lisa James.
The counts in the suit include breach of contract, fraud, failure to account (or pay royalties), conversion and urges the court to put all funds in a constructive trust.
“It is ironic that Kanye West and his manager Bu Thiam, the brother of rapper Akon are out here talking about black artists, bad contracts and doing our people right,” Walker reminded. “Well, let’s start that with ‘our people’ who are signed to contracts with Mr. Thiam like our client Mr. Simmonds.”
West, a very successful artist and business man, along with Thiam recently told news outlet, Rolling Stone, that he was the victim of a bad contract with his record label, although it was a standard deal, and has demanded freedom from his publishing deal and that all artists be empowered from bad deals.
He has explicitly stated that the music industry is comparable to a “modern day slave ship” and that he is dedicated to improving the music industry for artists. West has reportedly even taken on the task to help Taylor Swift get her master’s back from super manager, Scooter Braun.
“It is wonderful that Kanye is doing these things for artists and songwriters. I just wish his manager Bu Thiam would follow that example and do right by me,” Simmonds added.
ABOUT JAMES L. WALKER, ESQ.
James L. Walker, Jr. serves as the managing partner of J. Walker and Associates, LLC, a firm specializing in entertainment and corporate law. In addition to litigation and negotiating contracts on behalf of more than 300 high profile clients within the sports and entertainment field, he regularly represents buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating, financing and documenting sophisticated business acquisitions.
Walker holds undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University and a Masters in Divinity from Yale University. He has taught adjunct classes and workshops at the law schools of University of Connecticut, Yale, Harvard, Boston College and George Washington University. Walker is the author of This Business of Urban Music, the first reference book about the legal and business aspects of urban and gospel music, and has also been a regular guest commentator for FOX, CBS, CNN, and BET. For more information, visit: www.WalkerandAssoc.com.
Walker & Associates, LLC
Terrence Howard Sues 20th Century Fox; Says Use of His Image on ‘Empire’ Logo is Unauthorized
*So, is his money funny now that “Empire” is gone and he’s no longer employed by 20th Century Fox Television?
Well, that could be the case, but what we do know is that Terrence Howard‘s case against them is over their use of his likeness to promote the former hit Fox TV show about a family owned record label and all the drama that came with it.
In any event, the actor is accusing 20th Century Fox TV officials of using his likeness from the movie “Hustle & Flow” to promote “Empire.”
Howard, who played Lucious Lyon on the show for 6 seasons, says the bosses at Fox TV failed to offer a satisfactory answer when he asked how they came up with the “Empire” logo – since he never sat for a photoshoot.
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He says he ultimately determined the image was taken from the “Hustle & Flow” scene where “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” was being recorded in a studio.
“The still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer’s skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow.”
Howard insists he should be compensated for use of the image as he would have been paid by officials at Paramount – the studio behind Hustle & Flow – if 20th Century Fox got a proper license to use his image from the movie.
Howard is suing for damages and wants an accounting of all the Empire merchandise using the logo, according to TMZ.
Of course the key question is why did he wait until NOW to pursue this line of action? Hmm, maybe our question up top about money being funny is more appropriate than we first thought.
Speaking of thoughts, what are yours about this situation?
San Francisco Supervisors Pass CAREN Act Banning Racially Biased 911 Calls (Video)
*The vote was unanimous. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation Tuesday banning false, racially-biased calls to 911, with all 11 supervisors voting yes.
Its name, the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies (CAREN) Act, is of course a nod to the widespread meme using the name “Karen” to describe a specific type of white, middle-aged woman, who exhibits behaviors that stem from privilege, such as using the police to target people of color.
“We want to make sure people don’t continue to weaponize emergency calls to law enforcement,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who authored the measure.
Under the CAREN Act, calls to 911 with the specific intent to discriminate over someone’s race, ethnicity, national origin, place of birth, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion is banned. Victims of such calls will also be allowed to sue the caller.
The CAREN Act will be voted again by the Board of Supervisors at next Tuesday’s meeting before heading to Mayor London Breed’s desk.
Tekashi 6ix9ine Sued For Sexual Assault Over 2015 Video Showing Abuse of Minor
*Tekashi 6ix9ine is being sued by the woman he allegedly sexually abused at a party in 2015 when she was just 13.
The woman, identified as Jane Doe, claims that the rapper and Tauquan “Tay Milly” Anderson sexually assaulted her, and the incident was filmed and later posted online.
The victim suffered “severe emotional and psychological injuries,” court documents state, TMZ reports.
6ix9ine’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, tells the outlet that the rapper will “defend the lawsuit vigorously” once he’s properly served.
Here’s more from TMZ:
Jane Doe claims, on top of being underage at the time, she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was unable to consent as 6ix9ine and another adult, Tay Milly, made 3 sexually explicit videos which she says they later posted online.
According to the docs … the first video featured Doe performing oral sex on Tay Milly while Tekashi did pelvic thrusts behind her — without engaging in sex — and he slapped her butt. The second vid allegedly featured the girl sitting on 6ix9ine’s lap in a bra and underwear, and in the third … she claims she was laying naked across their laps while Milly groped her.
Jane Doe is suing 6ix9ine and Tay Milly for child sexual assault, child sexual abuse and infliction of emotional distress, the report states.
“By reason of her age, and being given drugs and alcohol which caused her to be in an impaired mental state without her knowledge, permission or consent, the plaintiff was incapable of consenting to the recording,” the document states.
“As an internationally known rap and hip hop artist and performer, defendant Hernandez uploaded [the videos] onto various social media accounts on the internet with the intention and expectation that millions of people would view the videos,” it added.
Tekashi previously took a plea deal in the criminal case in October 2018 for making a music video featuring sex with a minor. He was sentenced to 4 years probation.
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