"Idol" Musicians Sue Show's Producers

Contestant David Cook performs on the Fox reality show "American Idol" on May 13, 2008. Fox

A musicians union has filed a federal lawsuit against the producers of "American Idol," claiming musicians were underpaid because the show's live music was re-recorded for reruns.

The American Federation of Musicians filed the suit seeking unspecified damages Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleging that American Idol Productions Inc. and its subsidiary Tick Tock Productions Inc. violated a collective bargaining agreement.

That contract says the show's musicians should be paid royalties for rebroadcasts of the show, the lawsuit said.

Photos: "Idol Season" 7
The producers are required to pay 75 percent of scale to musicians who appear in the original show and rehearsals, plus 10 percent of that pay to a union pension fund, with decreasing percentages for each rebroadcast, according to court papers.

In 2007, the producers started cutting out the show's soundtrack and using different musicians to re-record new music for the past-season highlights show "American Idol Rewind," the lawsuit said.

Photos: "American Idol" Season 7 Finale
The union was not informed of the recording, according to court papers.

Phone messages left Thursday night with a representative for American Idol Productions were not returned.



Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.