Publish huge BMG “Uptown Funk,” after Gap Band members Robert Wilson and Ronnie Wilson’s heiress were recognized as co-songwriters for Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ megahit in a 2015 deal. “failed and refused” to pay royalties for.
The complaint, filed Thursday by Ronnie’s widow Linda Wilson and Robert’s daughters Robin and Latina Wilson, alleges that BMG “retained all funds for the plaintiffs for their own benefit and enjoyment” or ” It claims that it was either improperly diverted to another place.
BMG did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent Thursday night.The third brother and former lead vocalist of the Gap band, Charlie Wilson, is not a party to the new lawsuit.
Robert Wilson and Ronnie Wilson were one of the five songwriters behind the 1979 Gap Band song “Ops Upside Your Head,” which later became the basis for 2014’s “Uptown Funk.” Based on a 2015 deal that was reportedly brokered to avoid lawsuits and trials following the infamous “Blurred Lines” $7.4 million jury verdict, the brothers each own the copyright to “Uptown Funk.” and 3.4% of the music publishing rights.
According to a new complaint filed Thursday, Ronnie Wilson and his brother Robert
In 1978, he transferred the music publishing rights to “Oops Upside Your Head” to a third party, but terminated the copyright grant in September 2016. The company he held the rights to before his termination was acquired by BMG in 2015. After the deal was terminated, two of his 3.4% shares in Uptown Funk owned by the brothers are now owned entirely by heirs, the lawsuit claims.
The complaint alleges that BMG “failed to pay or to pay plaintiffs any royalties that as co-authors of ‘Uptown Funk’ were owed to plaintiffs pursuant to written agreements, and refused to pay them.” there is
“Despite being obligated to account for and pay plaintiffs a portion of all proceeds received from the musical production of ‘Uptown Funk’, BMG, despite plaintiffs’ repeated demands, has not been sued by plaintiffs or the treasurer. has refused and failed to provide funds due to
The filing alleges that BMG also refused to provide “sufficient documentation to calculate the amounts owed by plaintiffs.” It seeks to order a court to process and enable the heirs to determine the alleged damages. It is also seeking a trial to determine compensatory damages for alleged breach of contract and hopes the court will order the defendant to pay that amount along with interest, costs and attorneys’ fees.
Subject to multiple copyright disputes, “Uptown Funk” became an international sensation and dominated the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks.