Dr. Dre Sues Death Row Over Rights to The Chronic
Renowned producer Dr. Dre filed a lawsuit against Death Row Records in U.S. bankruptcy court on Wednesday (August 15) over the rights to his groundbreaking 1992 album The Chronic. According to the Associated Press, Dre is asking the court to rescind two prior agreements, made in 1992 and 1996, that first granted Death Row permission to distribute The Chronic, and later relinquished the album’s copyrights to the label. Under the 1996 agreement, he agreed to sign over the copyrights on the condition that he would continue to receive royalties. In 2000 the Aftermath boss notified Death Row that, due to their failure to pay these royalties, he was rescinding the two prior agreements and demanding the rights to the album be returned to him. Dre now claims that, because of that notice, he is once again the rightful owner of the copyrights. The suit also asserts that the Chapter 11 trustee currently overseeing the label is in the process of trying to sell the copyrights without proper permission. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against Death Row and the trustee that would prevent any such sale. Dre is also asking to be paid restitution for any revenue earned by Death Row during its use of the copyrights.