Back in 1978, Cher was awarded 50% share of royalties in songs such as “I Got You Babe”. Sonny Bono’s widow claims federal law to give his heirs the power to terminate the baseless lawsuit.
Mary Bono has called Cher’s $1 million lawsuit over allegedly unpaid royalties for Sonny & Cher songs “groundless.” According to a new filing in federal court of Los Angeles obtained by Rolling Stone, she asks the lawsuit to be dismissed. According to Mary Bono, the 50% stake has expired, with the right flowing back to Sonny’s heirs under the Copyright Act.
Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident back in 1998. After a few months, the widow of Sonny Bono was elected to replace him in Congress. She now claims in her paperwork that the Copyright Act is on her side.
In her lawsuit, Cher claims Mary Bono and the Bono Collection Trust are improperly attempting to terminate her 50% share. The share comes out of the composition and recording royalties for Sonny & Cher songs that she was awarded in her 1978 divorce agreement with Sonny. Rolling Stone has obtained Mary’s new dismissal motion filed Wednesday:
“Sonny could grant Cher his then-current rights, including a 50% royalty interest in his copyrights. Sonny could not, however, have signed away his heirs’ future rights of termination. The heirs’ right to terminate under the Copyright Act preempts Cher’s state law breach of contract claim. Therefore, her claim fails.”
The filing names the heirs as Mary Bono, Chesare Bono, Chianna Bono, Christy Bono, and Chaz Bono. The paperwork states that a new hearing on the dismissal motion is set for April 11, 2022.
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