‘Waves’ musician Mr. Probz files $10 million suit against Sony over royalties


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Singer Mr. Probz addresses a news conference the day before attending the traditional Opera Ball in Vienna, Austria, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Lawyers for Dutch musician Mr. Probz, known for his 2013-14 hit “Waves”, said on Tuesday they have filed a claim worth more than 10 million euros ($9.66 million) against Sony (NYSE:) in Amsterdam over royalties the artist argues Sony fraudulently withheld.

Mr. Probz, whose real name is Dennis Stehr, argues that Sony deducted administration and distribution fees from his royalties as they were passed through the company’s subsidiaries, in violation of his contract which specified they should be determined when they were first collected — “at source”.

Sony denied the allegations.

“We categorically dispute the claims made and are in the process of reviewing the summons,” Sony Music Entertainment Netherlands said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.

Mr. Probz has around 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify (NYSE:) and the radio edit remix of “Waves” with Robin Schulz has been streamed more than 800 million times. The Waves video has been viewed 500 million times on YouTube.

In a preliminary ruling in 2020, the Amsterdam District Court ordered Sony to return control of Stehr’s music to his company Left Lane BV, and to allow his auditor access to all documents relating to the exploitation of his music from 2013-20.

Stehr lawyer Pim Keulen said Sony had not given full access to auditor Grant Thornton, but audits showed that the company “systematically” wrongly deducted fees leading to underpayment of 3-6% on royalties Left Lane should have received from Spotify, TIDAL, Amazon (NASDAQ:) Music and Deezer among others.

($1 = 1.0356 euros)

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