Millions of Prince fans were delighted when a previously unreleased song was made available to the public by a former producer. The song titled ‘Deliverance’ was posted to iTunes and SoundCloud by Rogue Media Alliance and producer George Boxill. However, lawyers for the singer’s estate are crying foul and have filed a federal lawsuit against the producer and RMA. According to estate lawyers, Boxill had a confidentiality agreement that stated all recordings “would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property.”
The lawsuit maintains that the agreement with Boxill states that he “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.”
Because Boxill did not return the masters or recordings and has shared the tracks with third parties, he has violated his contract. In addition, one clause in the confidentiality agreement states that 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 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. In addition, the estate and Paisley Park would like “any and all masters, copies and reproductions” returned.
The estate lawyers issued the following 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 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.”