Court Dismisses Tame Impala Royalty Claims Against Modular Records’ Steve Pavlovic

Mallory Turner/Stereogum

Court Dismisses Tame Impala Royalty Claims Against Modular Records’ Steve Pavlovic

Mallory Turner/Stereogum

Modular Recordings founder Steve “Pav” Pavlovic was at the center of two separate lawsuits this year. One was a dispute over the ownership of the label between him and Universal Music, and the other was brought about by BMG over allegedly unpaid royalties due out to Tame Impala. As Triple J reports, the cases have now been resolved, and Pavlovic has won them both.

The former reversed a decision that the NSW Supreme Court made in June that ruled that Pavlovic no longer owned the label he had founded. Pavlovic will now retain his director status and 50% shareholder stake in Modular, and Universal will be forced to pay the legal costs for the case. Pavlovic had this to say in a Facebook post:

After 12 months of litigation, a waste of time, a waste of energy, a waste of money and a shit ton of stress the NSW court of Appeal just ruled in my favour and blocked Universal Music from taking my 50% shareholding in Modular Recordings. We’re thrilled with the outcome and look forward to getting back to the business of releasing great records. Stand by for news on forthcoming releases from Movement, Bag Raiders and The Avalanches.

See that little Avalanches namedrop?! But let’s not get our hopes up… He also issued the following statement in regards to the Universal case:

It’s stressful to be one man staring down a corporate giant the size of Universal however I felt I had no choice but to fight for myself, the label I created and for the bands that we represent.

I’ve always held Universal, and George Ash [president, Universal Music Asia Pacific] in particular, in high regard. We enjoyed many great years together as partners and I’m sad that we have reached a bitter end. I wish him and all beings UNIVERSAL LOVE. I’m hopeful that time will heal all wounds and that the respective bands and labels alike can get on with the job of what drew us all together in the first place – a desire to see great artists brought to the world stage.

As for BMG’s lawsuit over missing Tame Impala royalties, it’s going to be dismissed by the Southern District Court Of New York. Pavlovic characterized the lawsuit in a statement as a “misunderstanding,” and added:

I’m deeply sorry for any upset caused to Tame Impala given that I’ve always been a staunch supporter and fan of the band; and to BMG given the relationship we’ve always enjoyed with them.

I also regret the heavy handed press coverage of this aspect of Modular’s affairs which was completely inaccurate and out of hand. However I hope that with Universal and Modular’s respective obligations to BMG on behalf of Tame Impala now resolved that a line can finally be drawn under this unfortunate chapter.

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