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'American Idol' band suing show for ring tone and downloads royalties

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/14/2010 

American Idol band members are apparently making some legal noise.

The American Federation of Musicians filed a federal lawsuit on Friday alleging that American Idol Productions violated a union agreement by failing to compensate the show's house band royalties for ring tones and downloads, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

The union contends that the contract between American Idol's house band and the show's executives prohibit the reality series from cutting the band out of revenues generated by digital content, according to the lawsuit.

American Idol executive have been "selling digitally-encoded audio files containing those soundtracks" since the show's fourth season, according to the lawsuit, which contends those executives never got permission from the musicians to make the sale.

The lawsuit is seeking a minimum of $500,000 in damages and a contribution to the musician's pension fund.

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