Tame Impala Lawsuit Claims Nearly $1 Million in Unpaid Royalties

The suit claims a series of repeatedly dishonored agreements, ultimately amounting to nearly $1 million owed to Tame Impala.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

BMG Rights Management originally filed a suit in the US Federal Court alleging that Steve Pavlovic, Modular Recordings, and Modular's former partner Universal Music Australia owe $575,000 ($450,000 American) in unpaid royalties to Tame Impala — specifically frontman Kevin Parker. According to new reports, an additional $350,000 to $450,000 could be in question stemming from unpaid international royalties.

The seemingly complicated dispute sounds even messier on paper, with the suit claiming that BMG entered into a binding agreement with Modular in March 2014 in which Modular would distribute Tame Impala's catalog while also reporting and promptly paying royalties quarterly. According to the suit, Modular failed to maintain their end of the agreement. However, both Universal and Modular deny any involvement in such an agreement — instead insisting that Pavlovic entered into the agreement using his own separate company.

A statement from Pavlovic's lawyer confirmed this accusation, revealing that "an America-based company owned by Mr. Pavlovic" did have the distribution rights for the Impala catalog until January 2014. Furthermore, Pavlovic's representatives assert that Universal is responsible for any unpaid royalties which have accumulated since the end of that agreement — though they also admit full responsibility for royalties which fall within their purported agreement timeline. Parker alluded to royalty troubles in a recent Reddit AMA, stating he "may never get that money."


More to come.


Latest in Music