Monday, May 20, 2024

Purple Pain: Prince’s Estate Files Suit Against Producer Trying to Release Unheard Songs


Prince’s estate has filed suit in federal court against Rogue Media Alliance and producer George Boxill, who worked with Prince from 2004-2006 and now hopes to cash in. RMA announced last night that they were releasing three to six new Prince songs on Friday. One of them, “Deliverance,” was posted to SoundCloud and is now apparently on iTunes.

According to Minneapolis station KSTP, the lawsuit states Boxill signed a confidentiality agreement, which stated that all recordings he worked on with the pop star “would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property.”


* The agreement also stated Boxill “would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever,” and “he would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request.” 

* However, Boxill will not return the masters or recordings, and he has shared the tracks with third parties, which all violate his contract, according to the lawsuit.

* The confidentiality agreement echoes Prince’s concern for privacy. There was a clause in the contract that states Boxill has “no right to give interviews or write books, articles, etc.” 

The estate and Paisley Park claim a release of the so-called “Prince Recordings,” would hurt its interests “permanently and irreparably.” It would hurt business relationships , but more importantly, “it deprives Prince (and now the Estate) from choosing what is released to the public and when,” the suit states.

The suit asks for Boxill and any associates working on this to return the Prince Recordings and refrain from using anything Boxill obtained with his sessions with Prince. The estate and Paisley Park said it would like “any and all masters, copies and reproductions” returned.  The state lawsuit sought civil liability for theft. 

The Estate issued this statement:

The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is aware that Mr. George Ian Boxill, in conjunction with Rogue Music Alliance, has issued a press release announcing an intent to distribute previously unreleased Prince master recordings and musical compositions. The Estate has not authorized any such release and is not affiliated with either Mr. Boxill or Rogue Music Alliance. During his unparalleled career, Prince worked with many sound engineers, including Mr. Boxill. Like the other engineers that had the opportunity to work with Prince, Mr. Boxill signed an agreement, under which he agreed (1) all recordings that he worked on with Prince would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property; (2) he would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever; and (3) he would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request. Mr. Boxill did not comply with his agreement. Instead, Mr. Boxill maintained copies of certain tracks, waited until after Prince’s tragic death, and is now attempting to release tracks without the authorization of the Estate and in violation of the agreement and applicable law. The Estate is taking immediate legal actions to prevent Mr. Boxill’s continuing violations of his agreement and the rights of the Estate and its partners in Prince’s recordings. Any dissemination of the recordings and underlying music compositions, or fixation of the same in any audiovisual work or otherwise, is unauthorized and in violation of the Estate’s rights to the master recordings and musical compositions.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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