My Sharona Digital Battle

(TMZ) Music doesn't pay like it used to -- at least according to the sister of deceased Knack drummer Bruce Gary ... who is now suing Capitol Records, claiming the company is screwing her out of hard-earned digital download money.

Gary's sister -- Felice Catena -- inherited the rights to Bruce's music after he passed away in 2006.

Now, she's filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming Capitol is shafting her ... paying only a teensy-weensy fraction of what she's owed on download proceeds for Knack hits like "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't."

According to the complaint, Capitol owes Catena not 12% ... not 25% ... but 50% of net receipts from sales of his music by iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, and others.

You see, back in the day -- recording contracts didn't contain provisions for digital downloads (obviously) ... so once iTunes came around, it wasn't clear whether to pay the artist their sale fee (around 12%-18%) or their licensing fee (around 50%).

Felice claims sales through digital distributors are actually licenses -- and she should be paid accordingly. Eminem infamously sued his record label for the same thing back in 2007 ... and won.

Good news for Ms. Catena. more on this story

TMZ submitted this story.
Copyright TMZ - Excerpted here with permission.

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