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Kanye West And EMI’s Court Case Re-opened

By Modupeoluwa Adekanye
27 December 2019   |   9:03 am
Kanye West and EMI's once close-to-being-done case over a contract dispute is suddenly and officially back on as they have been unable to successfully come to conclusion on settlement plans in a report by TMZ. According to new legal documents, the judge in the case has signed off on EMI's request to officially reopen the…

Kanye West and EMI’s once close-to-being-done case over a contract dispute is suddenly and officially back on as they have been unable to successfully come to conclusion on settlement plans in a report by TMZ.

According to new legal documents, the judge in the case has signed off on EMI’s request to officially reopen the case.

EMI which has been battling Kanye in federal court over his publishing deal since September told the court it and Kanye had struck “an agreement in principle” to settle the case.

The court then tossed the suit with prejudice but said the case could be reopened if either party showed good cause.

The deadline to reopen the case was December 27, however, a few days ago, EMI’s lawyers wrote a letter to the judge saying “unfortunately the parties have been unable to finalize the terms of the settlement agreement.” This means the deal they had is not coming through.

Kanye first sued EMI in California claiming his contracts with the publishing company amounted to “servitude.” But, EMI fired back saying Cali’s “servitude” law doesn’t apply because NY laws, not Cali’s, govern the deal.

Early September of this year, West sued the Sony/ATV-owned EMI Music Publishing, along with Universal Music Group, Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam.

The rapper was effectively seeking a way out of the contract he signed with EMI back when he was working on his 2004 debut, The College Dropout, citing a California labor statute that limits personal service contracts to seven years.

According to the Hollywood Reporters, other musicians have filed similar lawsuits based around the California statute. And while fully severing ties with a publisher or record company may be the stated goal, often such suits resolve with a renegotiation of contract and royalty terms.