SONY MUSIC Strike Back In INCUBUS Contract Dispute

Sony Music struck back in its contract dispute with INCUBUS on Tuesday (Feb. 11), asking a federal court to block the band's bid for free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, said the band owes four more albums under an exclusive recording contract that band members signed in 1996. Sony said it would suffer tens of millions of dollars in damages if the albums aren't delivered.

INCUBUS, whose 2001 album, "Morning View", has sold an estimated 2 million copies, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week seeking to invoke a California law that limits contracts of entertainers to seven years.

Record industry lobbyists secured an amendment to the law more than a decade ago making certain exceptions for musicians. Artists say the law binds them to low-paying contracts for an unfairly long period.

Sony said the band members' claim is "a negotiation ploy designed to increase their bargaining power" against the label.

The company's lawsuit asked the judge to prevent the band from pursuing the case in California.

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