Judge voids label’s murky deal for Prince catalog

4 (646 x 430)A judge on Thursday rescinded Universal Music’s $31 million deal for unreleased work of late pop icon Prince after the world’s largest label group said it was misled by his estate, reports BSS.
The voiding of the deal — which is highly unusual for such a high-profile contract — is the latest drama over Prince’s catalog since the “Purple Rain” star died suddenly without a will in April 2016. A judge in Minnesota steered clear of deciding the merits of the dispute but said that Prince’s estate could ill-afford the lengthy court battle that could transpire if the Universal contract went forward. “This court believes that the estate must proceed in a cautious manner to preserve the assets of the estate,” said Kevin Eide, a judge in Carver County where Prince died at his secluded Paisley Park studio-estate.
While voiding a contract may not sound like a cautious move, “the court believes that the other option of long and potentially expensive litigation while tying up the music rights owned by the estate makes the other option more treacherous,” he said in a written ruling. Universal had announced in February that it had secured rights to Prince’s catalog starting in the mid-1990s — when he bitterly exited rival label Warner — as well as unspecified recordings from earlier during Prince’s commercial peak.