Photo: PH2 Mark Kettenhofen

Sony Music Sues Whitney Houston Film Producers

Asserting that the producers have yet to pay for the use of the singer’s music catalog within a year of the their films release, Sony Music Entertained have filed a lawsuit against the 2022 Whitney Houston biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

According to the filing on Thursday (2.15,), Sony Music claimed that the biopic’s producers, Anthem Films, Nybo Productions, and Black Label Media, entered a licensing agreement with the record company on December 5, 2022 and that payments for the use of the catalog were expected by July of 2023.

While Sony redacted the specific cost of the license in the lawsuit, the required payments were never remitted despite the company sending the producers multiple notices of failure to make the payments in August and October of 2023. After receiving the initial letter, Anthem told Sony they would pay for the music once they received a tax credit from the state of Massachusetts (where Anthem is headquartered), though monies have yet to exchange hands.

In the complaint Sony stated “As a result of Anthem’s failures, Defendants’ use of the SME Recordings in the Film has been unauthorized, and Defendants have had no legal right to use the SME Recordings.” “Despite being given notice of their infringing conduct, Defendants have continued to distribute and otherwise exploit the SME Recordings in connection with the Film without authorization.” “Defendants’ conduct has caused and continues to cause substantial and irreparable harm to Plaintiffs and the estate of Whitney Houston, while enriching Defendants at the expense of Plaintiffs and the estate of Whitney Houston,”

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Ph2 Mark Kettenhofen