Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Musician v. Management Spat Is No (Lemon) Party

There have been some famous falling outs in the music industry. Eric Clapton stole his buddy George Harrison's wife. Black Crows brothers Chris and Rich Robinson have been feuding for what seems like decades. Fleetwood Mac just kicked out Lindsey Buckingham, and the beef between Drake and Pusha T may tear Kanye West in two.

Still, none of this bad blood ever involved an ex-manager commandeering a musician's website and redirecting it to porn.

When Life Gives You Lemon Parties...

I would advise those who are uninformed to google "lemon party," but that would get us into worlds of trouble, and those who are informed know why. It suffices to say that the site to which musical artist Sacha Robotti's website (sacharobotti.com) was temporary pointed (lemonparty.com) was unsavory enough to prompt Robotti to sue his former management company for control of his eponymous domain name. TSG claims it registered the url before ever working with Robotti, and will continue to hold onto it until the artist settles up some allegedly unpaid commissions.

"Defendant continues to exercise dominion and control over the Domain," Robotti's cybersquatting lawsuit against TSG alleges, "improperly holding it in bad faith as collateral for a conjured-up debt to which it is not entitled to." TSG first said Robotti owed them $3,826.67, then apparently changed the figure to $4,900.10, "based upon [TSG's] 'personal audit' of the account, which did not include any corresponding receipts, documentation or other evidence reflecting the accurate amounts owed, if any."

...Make a Lawsuit

The worst part? "[O]n or around November 27, 2017, Defendant began to re-direct traffic [from] the Domain to www.lemonparty.com, a website conspicuously featuring pornographic material." Later, the site pointed to a different pornographic website, camslive.co, and, for now, features music from another TSG-managed act, Mr Kristopher. TSG claims it will retain the rights to sacharobotti.com until Robotti pays the requested commissions and a three-year "sunset clause" -- which allows managers to continue charging and receiving commissions after their representation has ended -- expires.

Robotti is asking for control of his domain name, $100,000 in statutory damages, and additional damages for TSG's "knowing, intentional and malicious tortious interference with prospective economic advantage." We'd say keep an eye on his url, but...

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