Apr 27, 2022

No Longer Cher-ing

The dispute between Cher and Sonny Bono’s widow (“Mary Bono”) over the estate of Sonny Bono (“the Estate”) continues.

Cher brought a claim last year against Mary Bono, stating the Estate owes her $1 million in unpaid royalties for songs by Sonny and Cher. Hit songs include “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On”. Cher argues the Estate tried to improperly terminate her rights in the “Sonny & Cher royalties.” In 2016, the Bono Collection Trust issued notice of termination to several music publishers, and the Trust claimed this notice also applied to Cher.

Mary Bono, has requested the judge dismiss the claim. The request is on the basis that the copyright supersedes Cher’s rights in the royalties. Further arguing Mary Bono is not bound by the divorce agreement – a contract she did not sign.

Cher argues she and Sonny agreed, as a term to their divorce, to equally divide the royalties from their songs. The judge is said to have challenged Mary Bono’s position that the federal Copyright Act allows her to terminate the 50% right to royalties Sonny Bono agreed in his divorce settlement with Cher.

The case lies on whether the termination law covers copyright and its “associated revenue” or only on the copyright itself.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 291 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Case Law, Contract, Copyright, EU/International, Legal News

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