Record labels, artists
A judge in Los Angeles has rejected a lawsuit from singer Carly Simon against coffee shifters Starbucks. Simon signed up to release an album via Starbucks’ short lived record company venture, Hear Music. ‘This Kind Of Love’, was released just as the coffee firm decided to bring the label project to an end, and Simon alleged that this had a negative impact on the way her record was promoted and indeed sales of the album were disappointing, Simon accused the coffee firm of failing to fulfil its promises to market and promote the long player. She also said that bosses at the coffee giant had misled her when negotiating her record deal because they must have known the Hear Music venture was about to be scaled down, but they failed to share that information with her. Simon also argued that the coffee firm’s subsequent decision to discount her album in their own stores damaged her reputation. Starbucks refuted the allegations and said the main problem with the record release was that people just didn’t like the singer’s Brazilian-influenced fourteen track album.
District Court Judge George Wu dismissed the case saying the singer’s contract with Starbucks said little about their marketing obligations, and that the firm had no duty to reveal their future business plans as part of their negotiations with the singer. The judge added that while Simon may have been misled while doing her deal, it was her job to prove that was the case, and that she had failed to do so. In a summary judgement released this week he wrote: “The court views this as a problem of proof and not a problem of pleading”. Simon will have to resubmit her lawsuit providing evidence she was misled. Other Hear Music artists included Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and John Mellencamp.