Songwriter files suit, again seeking royalties

WARREN -- A Warren songwriter and musician has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit seeking royalties.
The lawsuit filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court by William Beck, 53, of Colt Court, seeks at least $100,000 from Troutman Enterprises Inc., a Dayton music publishing company, and its owners. Troutman could not be reached to comment because there is no listing for the company in Dayton.
The original case was filed in 2005 by Beck, also known as Billie Beck, through his attorneys, Michael A. Ognibene and Randil J. Rudloff, both of Warren. Rudloff said the case was dismissed by the plaintiff because time ran out before all the material to support Beck's case could be gathered. The case was refiled this week.
The lawsuit says that during the past 20-plus years, Beck has written the words and/or music to more than 178 songs. Ognibene and Rudloff said that Beck had borrowed money from Troutman Enterprises when Beck was "a little down on his luck."
According to an agreement, Troutman would keep the royalties from Beck's work until the loan was repaid. Long after the loan was paid off, Beck alleges Troutman never reinstituted the royalty payments due him.
Ognibene said that Beck wasn't aware that recording companies such as Sony had been paying Beck's royalties to Troutman until Beck was contacted by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS maintains that Beck owes taxes on the royalties he never received from Troutman.

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