Friday, April 29, 2022
Earlier this week, Cher’s lawsuit against Mary Bono for unpaid royalties had its first major court hearing. Cher claims that the Bono Collection Trust is attempting to terminate her 50% share of the composition and recording royalties she was awarding in her 1978 divorce from Sonny Bono.
According to Bono’s widow, that 50% stake expired with the rights flowing back to Sonny’s heirs. “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.” Bono contends that the federal Copyright Act allows her to terminate the right to royalties that Sonny signed over to Cher during their divorce settlement.
U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt gave both sides two weeks to file further arguments ahead of his ruling.
For more information:
See Nancy Dillon, "Cher's $1 Million Royalty War With Sonny Bono's Widow Tested in Court", Rolling Stone, April 25, 2022.
Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.