Charlie Aponte has no right to collect royalties on songs

Charlie Aponte has no right to collect royalties on songs recorded with El Gran Combo

The requirement of the singer Charlie Aponte To collect royalties on the hundreds of songs he recorded during his membership The big combo of Puerto Rico was not accepted by a federal judge, who instead recognized the musical director Raphael Ithier the only one with collection rights because he is the owner of the company that protects the orchestra.

Federal Judge Jay García Gregory, in response to the declaratory judgment submitted by Mr. Roberto Sueiro on behalf of the combo, recognized that El Gran Combo is a corporation that employs its singers, musicians and other members and as such has the right to collect royalties as lead performers, and Ithier is the proprietary owner of this company.

Sueiro, in the Memorandum of Law that he submitted in support of the declaratory judgment, asked the court to whom the recovery of royalties paid by SoundExchange, the body responsible for paying the privileges for performing artists’ music on digital platforms, is directed and internet in general.

“The court finally ruled, after the parties had written their legal dissertations, that whoever is entitled to those royalties because he is the main attraction and by law, is Ithier.”, the lawyer repeated by phone this Sunday. “All El Gran Combo are employees and since 1983 there have been rulings from the First Circuit of Boston determining that Ithier is an employer for the purposes of the law because he is the owner of everything El Gran Combo has been since 1963,” he said the defender of Los Finados del Sabor.

Primera Hora has sent an SMS to Mr. José Hernández Mayoral, who is deputizing for Charlie Aponte, for comments on this decision, but no reply has yet been received.

The singer, active voice in salsa classics such as “Se me fue”, “Teléfono”, “Timbalero” and “There is no bed for so many people”, explained Suiero, “he didn’t even have the right to be part of the group be” to collect royalties.

He pointed out that “this point of law has not been made anywhere in the United States, there is no precedent. This is the first precedent establishing what a is feature artist in the United States and such is the decision of the Magistrate welcoming the District Judge. It’s a new case“.

When SoundExchange became aware of the conflict between the combo and Aponte in 2019, it suspended payment of royalties on music played digitally or downloaded. According to the information provided, these royalties are estimated at half a million dollars.

Aponte has not collected royalties on the combo’s music, nor does he owe the corporation anything.