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Kanye West sues both Sony and Universal

By | Published on Monday 28 January 2019

Kanye West

Perhaps aware that most of his recent litigation has related to the live side of his business, Kanye West has got 2019 underway by suing his record company, his music publisher and his merchandiser. And why the hell not, I say.

The rapper’s lawyers filed two lawsuits last week. The first targets Sony/ATV’s EMI Music Publishing, while the second is against Universal Music record labels Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella, and the mega-major’s merchandise business Bravado.

The legal papers are heavily redacted and therefore specifics of the two disputes are not public domain. However, it’s thought that West may be seeking to reclaim rights he gave up to his various business partners in the early years of his career.

Last year he complained that Sony/ATV had knocked back an offer he’d made to buy back his song rights. And an unredacted bit of the EMI lawsuit states: “There now exists a dispute between plaintiffs and defendant EMI regarding the parties’ rights and obligations to one another under the EMI contract and extensions”.

The litigation may be intended as a negotiating tactic in any ongoing talks relating to West’s efforts to buy back all those rights. But, you know, we can still dream on about these cases actually ending up in court. Which would undoubtedly be good fun all round.

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