The Rick Nelson Company, LLC, v. Sony Music Entertainment
SME Foreign Streaming Settlement


If you have received foreign streaming royalties from Sony Music Entertainment that were not calculated “at source,” you could get compensation from a class action settlement.

Important Update: Following the Final Approval Hearing on May 25, 2021, the Court entered its Judgment granting final approval to the settlement as well as an order awarding fees, expenses, and a service payment. Copies of these documents are available for download from the Important Documents page.

What is this settlement about?

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit over how Sony Music Entertainment (together with its unincorporated divisions and business units, its U.S. subsidiaries, affiliates, and joint ventures for which Sony Music Entertainment renders royalty accountings, and their respective predecessors, “SME”) calculated royalties for Class Members on the foreign streaming of sound recordings subject to agreements with those Class Members. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by SME.

Am I a Class Member?

You may be a Class Member if you received foreign streaming royalties from SME that were not calculated at source. Class Members are all non-excluded persons and entities who are parties to a “Class Contract” (defined by the Settlement Agreement as a contract (i) to which SME, or any entity of which SME is a member or partner and on behalf of which SME pays or credits royalties, is a party; (ii) that provides for exploitation of Recordings, the copyrights in which SME owns and/or controls; and (iii) in connection with which SME paid or credited any royalties for Foreign Streams calculated on a basis other than Foreign Streams At-Source Revenue during the period from September 25, 2012, through June 30, 2019, or any portion thereof).

What does the settlement provide?

$12.7 million, less certain deductions as may be approved by the Court, is available for Class Members on behalf of whom a timely and valid Claim Form has been submitted (“Authorized Past Claimants”). Authorized Past Claimants will be paid or credited their pro rata share of this fund.

For Class Members who qualify for Prospective Settlement Relief, SME shall add an additional royalty for Subject Recordings (as that term is defined in the Stipulation) equal to 36% of the royalty currently paid or credited to the Class Member (“Additional Royalty”) for foreign streaming of such Subject Recordings.

For a more detailed description of the the relief provided by the settlement, see FAQ 8.

Your Legal Rights and Options

Participate as a Class Member in the Past Settlement Relief and receive your future uplift earlier
Postmarked by November 30, 2020
If you submitted a claim and qualify, you can receive your pro rata share of the Past Settlement Relief and receive your uplift for future royalties sooner. See FAQs 8 – 11.
Participate as a Class member but only in the Prospective Settlement Relief and allow SME additional time to calculate this amount If you did not take any action, you will still receive your Prospective Settlement Relief if you qualify as a Class Member, although you will not participate in the Past Settlement Relief and the deadline by which SME has to apply the new rate will be extended by one year (you will be credited with the same royalty amounts). See FAQs 8 – 11.
Exclude Yourself
Postmarked by November 30, 2020
Excluding yourself means you get no payment or credit from your pro rata share of the Past Settlement Relief or 36% royalty uplift from this Settlement. This was the only option that allows you to keep any rights you currently have regarding the claims in this case. See FAQs 13 – 16.
Object to this Settlement
Postmarked by November 30, 2020
If you did not exclude yourself, you could have written to the Court about why you do not like this Settlement. See FAQs 19 – 20.
Go to the Hearing
May 25, 2021
Ask to speak in Court about your opinion of this Settlement. See FAQs 21 - 23.

For More Information

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SME Foreign Streaming Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91345
Seattle, WA 98111