Federal Judge Dismisses Bob Daisley’s Lawsuit Against Ozzy Osbourne
As you may recall, last summer, Bob Daisley filed a lawsuit against Ozzy Osbourne and his company, Blizzard Music Limited, seeking $2 million in unpaid royalties. Attorneys for the bassist, who played on all the Ozzy solo records anyone cares about (i.e., everything from Blizzard of Ozz in ’80 through No More Tears in’91), contended that “an audit conducted in 2014 showed that Osbourne and his company had been improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley’s rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs.”
Unfortunately for Daisley, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder has now dismissed the suit, “ruling that the dispute must be decided through arbitration,” according to Courthouse News Service:
“Daisley argued that arbitration does not apply to Blizzard US and Osbourne, the suit’s defendants, because they are not parties to the agreements.
“In her ruling this week, however, Snyder found that Daisley’s claims ‘touch and arise from the songwriter agreements,’ keeping in mind that any doubts about whether issues are subject to attribution should be resolved in favor of arbitration.
“Daisley alleges that Blizzard US and an affiliated company in England, Blizzard UK, which was not named in the suit but is covered by the songwriter agreements, are alter egos of Osbourne. Furthermore, he wants an accounting from both companies and Osbourne.
“The ‘alter-ego allegations are sufficient to allow defendants to invoke the arbitration provision,’ the judge ruled, adding that the request for an accounting from nonparty Blizzard UK underscores that Daisley’s claims arise out of the songwriter agreements.”
This is the second time a suit Daisley brought against his former employer was tossed out of court: in 2003, the bassist, along with former Ozzy drummer Lee Kerslake, attempted, and failed, to sue the Osbournes for performance royalties from both Blizzard and 1981’s Diary of a Madman. In response, Daisley and Kerslake’s performances were removed from reissues of those albums and replaced by ones from Ozzy’s then-rhythm section, Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin. Daisley and Kerslake’s recordings were added back to the records for another set of reissues in 2010, at which point Ozzy basically pointed at Sharon and said “She did it, it was all her fault!”
Most of us almost instinctually assume Ozzy and Sharon are guilty when something like this happens, because, well, they have a history of treating other musicians poorly (like when they ghosted Zakk Wylde or allegedly kept Bill Ward out of the Black Sabbath reunion). But the fact that Daisley has failed to get either of his lawsuits against the Osbournes definitely gives the appearance that the guy doesn’t have a very strong case.
But who knows, maybe the Osbournes just have way better lawyers. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in arbitration.
Thanks: Zakk Mylde