Following breakthrough victory for songwriters, EMI Music Publishing agrees to settle "Daydream Believer" case
May 29, 2015 – In the wake of an early defeat, EMI Music Publishing has agreed to settle firm client Stephanie Ford Stewart’s case against it for unfair business practices in connection with its policy and practice on the payment of foreign royalties. The client, widow of John Stewart – former Kingston Trio member and composer of The Monkees’ hit song “Daydream Believer” – contended that EMI was unfairly paying its own wholly-owned foreign affiliates (in other words, itself) half of the royalties they collected abroad for “Daydream Believer.” EMI previously won similar cases against the heirs of Duke Ellington and Bert Berns (“Twist and Shout”), and was confident those precedents would control here; however, firm lawyers Nick Carlin and David Given persuaded the Court that Stewart sufficiently alleged that EMI’s conduct was actionable and that the case should go forward on the merits of the client’s claims. Rather than risk letting a jury evaluate the unfairness of its conduct, EMI quickly agreed to settle the case. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Any composers or songwriters who suspect they are victims of similar misconduct by their music publishers are invited to contact the firm.