Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue

In this 2017 file photo, Enrique Iglesias accepts the artist of the year award at the Latin American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Iglesias is suing Universal Music Group in a dispute over how much he is paid for songs played on streaming music services. (AP)
Updated 24 January 2018
0

Enrique Iglesias sues label over streaming revenue

MIAMI: Pop star Enrique Iglesias on Wednesday accused his former label Universal of short-changing artists while benefitting from the soaring growth of streaming as he filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.
“Universal has been systematically underpaying Iglesias’ streaming royalties by calculating those royalties at a small fraction of the contractually required 50 percent royalty rate,” said the lawsuit filed in Miami, where Iglesias lives.
The lawsuit alleged that the 42-year-old heartthrob has lost millions of dollars “even though Iglesias has generated sales of a magnitude rarely attained in the music industry.”
Iglesias said that the Universal Music Group, which is the world’s largest record label conglomerate, refused his requests to inspect its records.
The son of legendary Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias, Enrique has achieved a booming international career with his fusion of ballads, reggaeton and pop as well as his on-stage sex appeal.
He is among the few artists to achieve major hits in both Spanish and English, scoring major success with songs such as “Hero,” “Tonight (I’m Loving You)” and “Be With You.”
The boom in on-demand streaming services such as Spotify has rapidly transformed the music business, bringing solid growth to the industry for the first time in two decades.
Many artists have complained that they see little of the money, although they have generally aimed their fire at streaming companies rather than their own labels.
Universal did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Iglesias bolted Universal in 2015 when he signed to rival Sony Music.
James Sammataro, a lawyer for Iglesias, said that Universal had reaped profits at the expense of artists.
“Universal has wrongly insisted that artists like Enrique be paid for streams in the same manner as they are paid for physical records despite the fact that none of the attendant costs (production, distribution, inventory, losses) actually exist in the digital world,” Sammataro said.
“Artists, producers and songwriters should benefit from the reduced costs of streaming, not have their musical works spin unwarranted profits,” he said.
The complaint relates in part to streams of Iglesias’ 2014 album “Sex and Love” which features the hit “Bailando,” which won three Latin Grammy Awards and was that year’s most played song in both Mexico and Spain.


Film review: ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem:’ An affair to remember

A still from ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.’
Updated 21 November 2018
0

Film review: ‘The Reports on Sarah and Saleem:’ An affair to remember

TOKYO: Countless movies have tackled extramarital affairs, but Palestinian auteur Muayad Alayan gives the theme a new twist to his second feature outing, “The Reports on Sarah and Saleem.”

Screened at the recent 31st Tokyo International Film Festival, the movie is a heartrending account of the humiliation and harassment an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man face when they are caught having an adulterous relationship. Not by their families, but by intelligence officers, underlining how political rivalries have begun to slip between the sheets. What seems utterly cruel is the kind of punishment the man has to undergo by authorities.

Written by Alayan’s brother, Rami, the first scenes in the film show Sarah (Sivane Kretchner) and Saleem (Adeeb Safadi) in the throes of their love affair. While she is married to an Israeli intelligence officer and runs a cafe, he is a struggling Palestinian delivery boy with a pregnant wife. Sarah and Saleem are complete opposites — geographically and religiously — but meet at night.

During the day, they lead pretty unexciting lives. She has a moody husband in David (Ishai Golan), and he has a sweet wife, Bisa (Miasa Abd Elhadi), who dotes on her husband. Things carry on until Saleem, in an act of sheer bravado, takes Sarah on a trip to Bethlehem.

Alayan gets the best out of his actors and while Kretchner and Safadi are entirely believable as their characters, it is Elhadi who scores top marks as the patient wife whose spirited life slips into darkness when she finds out about her husband’s affair. She conveys her anguish with a touch of brilliance.

Cinematographer Sebastian Bock uses a handheld camera, which provides the right degree of intimacy and lights up his sets imaginatively to convey the contrast between East and West Jerusalem. What feels like a bit of a drag, however, is the legal process that plays out later in the movie, although it does not harm the film as a whole.