Folk rockers The Lumineers have been slapped with legal action from a former member in a dispute over songwriting credits.
Jason Van Dyke filed suit in New Jersey federal court last week, claiming he joined forces with founding members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites in 2008 and took part in writing, recording and performing duties on the understanding that he would become an equal partner and have co-authorship on their tracks.
Schultz and Fraites decided to relocate to Denver, Colorado the following year, but Van Dyke alleges he continued to contribute to the band’s music and would even reunite with his pals onstage when they performed on America’s East Coast.
However, Van Dyke claims he has since been sidelined and denied copyright and trademark credits on nine of The Lumineers’ songs, including Scotland, which has been used as the theme tune for new show “Reign.”
In legal papers obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, his lawyer states, “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.”
He is seeking a declaration of co-authorship on the songs in question in order to be eligible for royalties.
Van Dyke is also suing for breach of contract and fiduciary duties, conversion and misappropriation of partnership assets and unjust enrichment.
The “Ho Hey” hitmakers, who are now a five-piece, have yet to comment on the lawsuit.