Intially, remember we were told that Donald Glover was being sued by his former label, Glassnote Entertainment Group, it turns out the imprint only filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court. According to Billboard, court documents filed by Glassnote on July 6 say the label is seeking $700,000 in unpaid streaming royalties from digital radio services like Pandora, SiriusXM and the non-interactive radio functions of Spotify, among others.
Glover released three albums with Glassnote, including 2011’s Camp, 2013’s Because The Internet and 2016’s Awaken, My Love! Under Glover’s original contract, the label licensed those three albums at a 50 percent net royalty rate. Those royalties were paid to SoundExchange when his songs were streamed on the services.
SoundExchange paid Glover $700,000 for his role as the artist and he’s entitled to 45 percent of the approximately $1.6 million currently paid out. The court docs reportedly state that Glover went after Glassnote for the other 50 percent of royalties because he owns his master recordings. The label only licensed the three albums (meaning they were on loan) and the license expired last October.
In the complaint filed last week, Glassnote is asking a judge to mediate the contract dispute and determine who has the rights to those royalties. Billboard added that a source close to Glassnote said the company has never been in litigation with an artist since the company’s 2007 inception. Glover signed with RCA Records in January and released “This Is America” as his first single with the label. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.