Cher Wins Copyright Lawsuit Against Ex Sonny Bono's Widow Mary

After a three-year legal battle, Cher has emerged victorious in her copyright infringement lawsuit against Mary Bono, the widow of her ex-husband Sonny Bono.

AceShowbiz - Cher has won her copyright infringement lawsuit against Mary Bono. The filed a lawsuit against Mary in 2021, claiming that she was being deprived of royalties from songs she recorded with Sonny & Cher. According to the terms of their divorce settlement in 1978, Cher was entitled to a 50% stake in their publishing catalog.

After Sonny Bono's tragic death in 1998, Mary became the administrator of his estate, and she and his four children inherited his share of the royalties. However, in 2016, Mary exercised a provision in the Copyright Act that allows songwriters and their heirs to reclaim control of their publishing rights after 35 years.

Cher argued that Mary's termination of her contractual rights was invalid and that she was still entitled to her share of the royalties. A California judge agreed with Cher, ruling on Wednesday, May 29, that Mary Bono must pay her over $418,000 in unpaid royalties.

The judge determined that Wixen Music Publishing, the company involved in distributing royalties, had paid at least $187,000 to Sonny's heirs, of which $93,500 went to Mary. Additionally, Wixen held $418,156.82 in royalties that should have been distributed to Cher.

The ruling is a significant victory for Cher and sets a precedent for the interpretation of copyright law in the music industry. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of contractual agreements and the protection of artists' rights.

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