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Top-selling band’s dispute instructive re royalty payments

An ongoing dispute that is festering within an iconic rock group underscores the importance of timely and sound contract execution to address key money matters.

The metal band Korn knows much about that. Existing group members are presently embroiled in a spat with the former drummer over his rightful entitlements to a fair share of band profits.

Those profits are both sizable and ongoing. Korn has been a popular presence since its arrival on the music scene more than a quarter century ago in Bakersfield. The California band has sold scores of millions of albums and CDs globally during its long-tenured existence.

Korn’s ex-drummer says that he has “not been getting paid properly” and that a percentage of the money that continues to pour in belongs to him. He contacted the royalty-handling company SoundExchange last year, directing that entity to release funds to him.

Existing band members struck back immediately, via a lawsuit claiming that the drummer has already been fully compensated for his work pursuant to the details of an exit agreement he reached with the group back in 2016. Korn’s legal filing specifically alleges breach of contract by the ex-member for his attempts to collect undue royalties.

The matter has escalated in importance for the fundamental reason that SoundExchange’s interim response has been to put a freeze on all royalty payments accruing to Korn pending the lawsuit’s resolution. Band members say that nearly $300,000 in royalties are currently being withheld, with that amount steadily rising.

The drummer has not performed with the band since 2007.

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