Black Sheep’s unpaid Spotify royalties case with Universal dismissed
(Credit: YouTube)


Black Sheep’s unpaid Spotify royalties case with Universal dismissed

A lawsuit of around $750million filed by the hip-hop group Black Sheep against the Universal Music Group in January over Spotify royalties that have not been paid has now been dismissed.

At the beginning of 2023, it was announced that the duo were suing Universal Music Group in a class action lawsuit, with the pair stressing that the company owed them and a string of other musicians large fees in unpaid royalties.

The claim was that Black Sheep were owed royalties because UMG had accepted lower royalty rates from Spotify in exchange for shares in the streaming service back in 2008.

It was decreed in court, though, that the hip-hop group had exceeded the statute of limitations, and the suit was deemed to be time-barred. The judge gave the verdict of UMG’s legality, and the case was dismissed.

It was a “net receipts” clause in the contract with UMG that had Black Sheep claim that they were owed 50 per cent of royalties from Spotify and added that they were also short of 5 per cent of UMG’s Spotify equity.

UMG responded, saying that the pair’s claim was “patently false and absurd”, additionally citing their “well-established track record of fighting for artist compensation.”

Black Sheep had two UK Top 20 singles: 1994’s ‘Without a Doubt’ and 1995’s ‘North, South, East, West’.