Hey indie label owners, a bit of advice: When you lose an artist to a major label, make sure you get that major label to slap your logo on all of that artist’s future product. Cuz if they forget, as Sony did with the tiny Ohio label that discovered Meat Loaf, you’ll probably be able to afford that beach house after all.
Steve Popovich, 65, who started Cleveland International Records in 1977 and soon afterward signed the chubby singer named Marvin Lee Aday, persuaded Epic Records to release the wildly successful album.
Epic was owned at the time by CBS. Sony, which bought out CBS Records, paid $6.7 million to Popovich and his former partners in 1998 to settle a lawsuit over royalties from the album.
The settlement required Sony to place the Cleveland International logo on future Meat Loaf albums but Sony did not add the logo to “Bat Out of Hell” for more than a year.
And with the U.S. Circuit Court of appeals upholding Popovich’s win against Sony in a lower court in 2005, that brings the grand total the company will pay to $11.7 before it’s all over, quite the investment, even for a high-selling catalog item. They’re never gonna let the poor guy retire now.
Sony Ordered To Pay $5 Million In Meat Loaf Suit [Billboard]