BMG Faces Legal Action over Alleged Refusal to Pay Royalties for “Uptown Funk” to Gap Band Heirs


BMG, the publisher of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ 2015 hit “Uptown Funk”, is facing a lawsuit because the company did not pay royalties to the families of Gap Band members.

The authors of the Gap Band’s 1979 track “Oops Up Side Of Your Head” — band members Ronnie Wilson, Charles Wilson and Robert Wilson, as well as producer Lonnie Simmons and Rudolph Taylor — were added to the list of co-authors a few months later. after the release of “Uptown Funk”. The reasons for this have not been disclosed.

Now Billboard reports that the families of Ronnie and Robert Wilson have claimed that BMG is not paying them the royalties to which they are entitled. “Despite its obligations to report and pay the plaintiffs their share of all income received from the musical composition “Uptown Funk”, BMG refused and did not provide either the funds owed to the plaintiffs or accounting, despite the repeated demands of the plaintiffs,” the report says. the lawsuit says.

Ronson and Mars are not involved in the lawsuit.

The Wilsons’ attorney, Michael Steger, told Billboard that they “worked for years” to get proper recognition and royalties for using the song, and they “had no choice but to sue to protect their rights.”

BMG did not respond to Billboard’s request for comment.

“Uptown Funk” has been the subject of three other lawsuits since its release. In 2016, Ronson and Mars were sued for copyright infringement by the Minneapolis-based funk band Collage, who claimed that the pair’s 2014 track was an “obvious, strikingly and/or substantially similar copy” of their 1983 single “Young Girls”. Both sides later agreed to close the case.

In 2017, Lastrada Entertainment, which owns the rights to Roger and Sepp’s 1980 song “More Bounce To The Ounce”, filed a lawsuit against Ronson, claiming that he copied their track. Later, the lawsuit was also dismissed.


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