LOS ANGELES (AP) — A trio of songwriters who penned “Take It Easy,” “Best of My Love” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” for the musical group The Eagles, sued their publisher for allegedly not paying millions of dollars in royalties.
The lawsuit filed in Superior Court by Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther and Jack Tempchin claims that Warner/Chappell Music INc., now a division of AOL Time Warner, hasn’t paid them for their songs that appear on Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1974.
The suit alleges that deals negotiated on behalf of two bandmembers — Don Henley and Glenn Frey — were higher than those for the songwriters, who claim they have lost more than $10 million in royalties.
Tempchin composed “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and co-wrote “Already Gone.” Souther co-wrote “Best of My Love” with Henley and Frey, and Browne co-wrote “Take It Easy” with Frey.
“It is with deep regret that we file this lawsuit, but we are left with no alternative,” the songwriters wrote in a joint statement. “All of our efforts to amicably resolve the matter with Warner/Chappel have been ignored.”
The plaintiff’s attorney, Lawrence Iser, said his clients have been paid 2 cents, the legally approved rate in 1975, each time their songs were used for commercial purpose. But the songwriters should have been paid 2.4 cents under an agreement their publisher struck with an affiliate, Iser said. The going rate today for songs used commercially is 7.5 cents.
The songwriters are seeking unspecified damages for breach of contract, breach of good faith and breach of fiduciary duty.