Elvis Presley’s estate sues German record company for $9m in unpaid royalties

Arista Music stands accused of exploiting the late singer's back catalogue

Elvis Presley‘s estate is suing a record company in Germany over unpaid royalties amounting to up to $9m (£5.6m).

Arista Music, formerly RCA, is being accused of exploiting the late singer over a $5.4m (£3.3m) buyout of his back catalogue in 1973.

Under the agreement, RCA bought the rights to his songs with the fee split evenly between the singer and his manager Colonel Tom Parker, according to legal papers.

The estate claims that as a result of the contract, Presley went on to receive $10 (£6) a year for worldwide rights to each of more than 1,000 recordings.

It argues the singer’s annual payment for each song was “conspicuously disproportionate” to the revenue RCA made from the master recordings, reports BBC News. The estate also wants a share of future revenue until 2023.

Under the country’s copyright laws, German courts have the power to redress disproportionate deals with more equitable terms.