Fagen is suing the estate of the group's late co-founder Walter Becker in Los Angeles Superior Court over the group's name and trademark. "The Becker defendants will continue to misappropriate Steely Dan's website and otherwise inappropriately use the Steely Dan name", the lawsuit reads. The contract stipulates that when a band members leaves or dies, the remaining Steely Dan members purchase all the member's shares in the group.
With Becker and Fagen being the last remaining shareholders in the past few years, Fagen has now claimed that, four days after Becker's death, Becker's estate sent a letter to the frontman claiming that the 1972 agreement "is of no force or effect".
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Apparently, Becker's camp/estate is running the Steely Dan website and social media presences, which is also part of the conflict.
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Fagen is looking for $1 million in damages and is asking that the 1972 agreement be enforced. Fagen also claims that Steely Dan's business management firm of Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein & Bolno has been withholding accounting records. Furthermore, the letter reportedly insisted that Becker's widow, Delia Becker, be appointed a director or officer of Steely Dan, and that she was entitled to 50 percent ownership of Steely Dan. "Especially now, with the Becker Defendants taking a position adverse to Steely Dan and with the Becker Defendants retaining NKSFB, a full and complete accounting is necessary to protect Plaintiffs' interests", Miller continued. In this case, as the sole living member of the original Steely Dan, that would make Fagen the sole owner of the band itself. By 1975 Steely Dan was effectively a duo, with Becker and Fagen accompanied by session musicians. Fagen also alleges that Becker's estate now operates the band's website and refuse to share control of it.
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