"As digital downloads have emerged as the primary method by which many consumers acquire music, UMG has systematically failed to pay appropriate royalties to musicians for these downloads," argued James Pizzirusso, a partner at Hausfeld LLP, the firm handling the lawsuit for Chuck D (real name Carlton Douglas Ridenhour).
The exact amount of potential damages will be determined at trial but, if Chuck D's attorneys have their way, the move could trigger a slew of other artists to take similar action.
Hausfeld are putting out the call to "all Universal Music Group artists" to press publishers to categorise digital formats as licenses instead of sales.
If successful, artists could see a much higher return from the digital sphere, perhaps as much as 50%. Chuck D specifically is looking to see retrospective payments from any re-categorised releases.
Universal has promised to "vigorously defend" against case, which it has described as "flawed".
The full filing can be read here.
Source: Digital Music News