According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Blackmon says all Cameo artists were employed as a musicians for hire, including Nathan Leftenant, Arnett Leftenant, Jeryl Bright and Gregory Johnson.
Johnson reportedly left the band in the late 80’s, Nathan and Arnett both quit performing with the band in 2004 and Bright performed with Cameo on and off until 2015, the report states.
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Lawsuit Filed Against Larry Blackmon by Former Cameo Members is ‘Frivolous’ and ‘Inconsistent with Facts’ [EUR EXCLUSIVE]
Per The Blast:
Blackmon argues the band’s success was due to him controlling the musical direction and stage persona.
The last album Cameo recorded was in 2000 but Blackmon says he has maintained a worldwide performing schedule in the years since performing under the Cameo name.
The singer says for the past few years, the defendants have booked various shows using the Cameo name and have even used his photo in the advertisements.
Blackmon says they never got permission to use the trademark, nor was he paid a dime from the profits they made.
He is demanding in excess of $2 million in damages plus an injunction prohibiting the former members from using Cameo name or his likeness.
As EUR previously reported, Nathan Leftenant, Arnett Leftenant, Jeryl Bright and Gregory Johnson filed a complaint against Blackmon, as noted by The Blast, claiming that in 2010, Blackmon began collecting royalties on behalf of the band, saying he would pay the other members their share. They claim the singer took in $103,005.30 and never paid them a dime.
Blackmon’s business consultant, Jay King, responded to the claim, telling EUR exclusively:
“So the royalties that they’re speaking about are royalties from SoundExchange. SoundExchange is part of the Digital Act that started in 1995, where artists would receive money from digital play. SoundExchange is the equivalent of a performing rights organization. It’s a new revenue stream. So there were more than 100 claims for Cameo. In other words, there were more than 100 people that said they were in Cameo. And there were some guys who were in Cameo that was collecting SoundExchange money five years before Larry Blackmon collected it”
Once Blackman found out about SoundExchange, King says “he shut it down and he started collecting SoundExchange by himself and then more claims came in and that’s when the whole thing got shut down. So nobody’s collecting money.”
Continuing, he added: “Larry doesn’t owe anybody anything because we don’t know who owes what. They haven’t been able to collect SoundExchange money like Larry Blackmon hasn’t been able to collect SoundExchange money because Larry Blackmon said nobody collects this money until this is sorted out. So to file a lawsuit or to make it seem like Larry Blackmon is taking anything from anybody is inconsistent with facts.”