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Orbison’s estate pushing Sony for foreign royalties

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Roy Orbison's estate is taking Sony Music Entertainment to court, claiming the company owes more than $12 million in royalties from overseas.

A complaint filed in Nashville last week specified the dollar amount of the royalty dispute, with the late singer's estate claiming Sony misrepresented record contracts and rates used to calculate payments."Americans don't realize that he has always been huge in Europe, and he still is," estate lawyer Sam Lipshie said. "Foreign (royalties) are much bigger for Roy Orbison than they are for a lot of American artists because he's always been a superstar there."

Sony attorney Jay Bowen said the company believes it has "calculated and paid all the royalties due the estate in a worldwide market in which calculating royalties and accounting of units sold is a difficult process at best."

Orbison, whose hits included "Pretty Woman," died in 1988.