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Pop titan Iglesias says Universal not playing fair in breach claim

Attorneys for global pop star Enrique Iglesias assert that their client has made persistent attempts to induce good faith from music producer Universal International Music BV, but without success. Consequently, the singer recently "regrettably concluded that he had no choice" other than to commence litigation against the company to settle a material contractual issue.

Iglesias says he is being treated unfairly -- and unlawfully -- by Universal's misplaced application of a royalty payment formula that is shorting him many millions of dollars. Specifically, Universal is paying Iglesias a rate applicable to album sales for money it is making through the so-called "streaming" of his music.

And by doing that, the artist contends, the company is unfairly benefiting at his expense. It costs a music provider far less to stream music than to take all the steps necessary to churn out albums, and Iglesias argues that the savings from that decreased outlay need to bd equitably shared with the music's creator. He says that Universal "alone reaps the savings from digital streams," and his breach of contract claim seeks damages for that.

An adverse outcome for Universal could cost the company big. Iglesias's widespread and enduring appeal is almost unparalleled by any other artist. Reportedly, he has sold 100 million albums globally and is the top-selling performer ever of popular dance singles. Additionally, he is a mainstay presence on Internet social media sites, and Universal has profited mightily from billions of streams generated by his large musical catalogue.

Iglesias's breach claim was filed in federal court last week.

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