Sony playing a Cheap Trick on musicians?

Lawsuit filed by Cheap Trick, Allman Brothers Band claims Sony underpays musicians for online music sales.

Two rock bands, the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick, have filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG alleging that they are shortchanged when Sony divvies up royalties from digital downloads.

Filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, the suit claims Sony should pay its musicians more as part of a contract the company has allegedly failed to live up to, according to reports published on the Web sites of Forbes and Billboard magazines.

The bands, which were at the height of their popularity more than 20 years ago, claim in their suit that they're entitled to half of the profits from online sales at sites such as iTunes and Napster, Forbes reported.

Right now the bands receive only 4.5 cents on every 99 cent sale of one of their songs, the suit claims.

Neither Sony representatives nor managers for the bands could be reached for comment Friday evening.

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