*Two lawsuits are in the works over music by the late R&B singer Aaliyah.
According to TMZ, publishing company Reservoir Media Management is suing independent record label and film distributor Craze Productions for illegally selling tracks off Aaliyah’s self-titled 2001 album on iTunes.
In the lawsuit, Reservoir claims they purchased the rights to those songs last year and that Craze does not have permission to sell them.
Craze, founded in 2004, has had copyright issues pop up in the past. In 2011, three of the company’s YouTube channels were allegedly suspended due to violation of YouTube’s copyright policy. Currently, the iTunes page for the Aaliyah album lists the LP under Craze Productions.
In the suit Reservoir states that the songs are not legit and wants a judge to order that they be removed. Reservoir is also seeking an undisclosed amount of money.
Reservoir’s website also has tracks from Aaliyah available for download, and it provides a request option to license the material as well as tracks from Aaliyah’s other albums “One In A Million,” “I Care 4 U” and the soundtrack to “Romeo Must Die.”
Meanwhile, another lawsuit, filed last month by music producer Jeffery Walker II (aka J-Dub), accuses Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson, his son Jomo Hankerson, and Black Fountain Music in Georgia claiming that he is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from working on Aaliyah’s music back in 2000 and 2001.
Aaliyah’s projects were released on Blackground Records, which was started by her uncle Barry Hankerson. The label is currently a part of Universal Music Group.
Walker claims he never received royalty checks between 2003-2011, because the Hankersons forged his signature, cashed those royalty checks intended for him, and then deposited the money in Blackground Records’ account.
As a result he was taxed on income he never received and now owes the I.R.S. taxes on $262,580 worth of income from 2004-2011. He says the Hankersons cost him nearly $500,000 in total.
Walker’s complaint does state that Blackground records subsidiary Black Fountain Music was purchased by Reservoir Media Management in 2012.
Both cases are still pending.