*The musicians that comprise the band on “American Idol” have filed a lawsuit against the show’s producers claiming the show hasn’t paid them for the resale of video and audio of their performances, as stipulated in their contract.
According to the New York Post, the suit was filed Friday in Los Angeles by the American Federation of Musicians, and asks for at least $500,000 in damages.
If the suit is successful, the final payout is likely to be even higher than that half-million, the plaintiffs contend. “It surely will be considerably more,” Jeff Freund, the general counsel for the AFM, told EW.com, “once discovery is conducted and once we’re able to get a complete accounting of all of the ways in which the product has been exploited and not paid for.”
The payment under contention is for producers’ use of songs in formats that extend beyond the show and its soundtrack, such as iTunes sales of audio and video from “Idol‘s” weekly telecasts.
“American Idol is a different kind of show in a sense that it is so incredibly music-driven and there are exploitable pieces of work from the show that have a market value,” says Freund. “So there are individual songs that obviously capture people’s attention, ringtones that can be built off of the songs, the equivalent of music videos of the performances…this is a pretty music-intense show and pretty extreme conduct on the part of the producers.”