‘The Partridge Family’: David Cassidy Sued Sony Over Show Royalties and Won

by Will Shepard

David Cassidy was a man of many talents, which included being a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor. But he had a problem with Sony Pictures Entertainment. He claimed that he had not been paid for the royalties on merchandise sales with his image.

His show from the 1970s, The Partridge Family, was a massive success and vaulted him to stardom. Once the show ended, several spin-offs, mostly including merchandise. That merchandise includes magazines, board games, lunchboxes, and more.

But, Sony apparently wasn’t paying David Cassidy the royalties on the merchandise sales. So, Cassidy took to the court system to rectify his financial losses.

David Cassidy Sued Sony For Royalties Over His Image Being Used

Cassidy once said that Sony was failing to uphold the contract that he signed all the way back in 1971. That contract was giving him 15% of all sales bearing his image.

In fact, the sales that Sony was able to make are reportedly in the millions of dollars. In that same interview, he said that he needed to be receiving “excess of millions of dollars.”

The legal aspect of David Cassidy’s claims was quite important. At the Los Angeles County Superior Court, he filed his claims against Sony Pictures Entertainment. In the same suit, he filed against Screen Gems and CPT Holdings.

During the briefings, his lawyers said that Sony and the other defendants “have swindled Mr. Cassidy out of his rightful share of the profits from The Partridge Family.”

Cassidy Received Tens of Thousands of Letters

They also added that in the four years the show ran, he was getting roughly 30,000 letters per week about the show. Additionally, the lawyers talk about the 15% that he should have been getting because of his image of the products. Notably, they produce an astronomical figure about how much Sony made on his likeness.

Reportedly, Sony made about $500 million on his image. But, David Cassidy said that he was only been given around $5,000 for his likeness.

“It’s just a matter of being fair and doing the right thing. Just be fair, be real, be genuine, don’t be greedy,” he said at the time.

After a long time in the courts, David Cassidy was ultimately successful with his challenge against Sony. Reportedly, he won just over $150,000. While this isn’t the millions that he was hoping for, it was still a win nonetheless.