The Lumineers, the band that broke out with the song “Ho Hey,” is facing a lawsuit from ex-member Jason Van Dyke.
In a complaint filed on May 22 in New Jersey federal court, the plaintiff says his contributions have been minimized. Van Dyke was invited into the band by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, was allegedly told he would be an equal partner and promised co-authorship on songs.
Starting in 2008, Van Dyke says he participated in performances, recordings and songwriting until Schultz and Fraites moved to Colorado the following year. Even afterwards, Van Dyke says he continued to participate in recording sessions for the band’s second EP and played some live dates when the Lumineers showed up on the East Coast.
But Van Dyke is unhappy at how he’s been left out in the cold — denied credit on copyright, trademark and SoundExchange registrations. “In biographic and publicity materials that routinely accompany the numerous record releases of Schultz and Fraites’s current band, Van Dyke has been ostracized and rendered ‘invisible’ through a false narrative,” says the complaint.
Van Dyke is now seeking a declaration of his claimed co-authorship of nine songs, including “Scotland,” which is being used as the theme song of The CW’s television show Reign. He’s also asserting conversion and misappropriation of partnership assets, breach of contract and fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment. Here’s the full complaint.
Representatives for the band haven’t responded to a request for comment.
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