A federal judge ruled yesterday (April 20) that WIDEawke Death Row Records does not have the right to profit from digital sales of Dr. Dre’s seminal debut album, The Chronic.
Since Dre (born Andre Young) has not been compensated appropriately for the online sales of the album, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ruled in favor of the producer-rapper.
Dre’s attorney, Howard King, clarified the ruling with The Associated Press, stating that although Death Row may no longer sell The Chronic digitally, other entities can sell the album, but Dr. Dre is to receive 100 percent of the proceeds from online sales.
Dre sued the revitalized record label he helped found in the mid-’90s last year, citing several missed payments as the reason for the lawsuit. At the time, Dre alleged that he was owed more than $1.2 million in unpaid artist-producer royalties, $1.1 million from digital sales and more than $600,00 for mechanical royalties.
“For years, Death Row Records forgot about Dre when they continued to distribute his music digitally and combined his hits with weaker Death Row tracks in an attempt to elevate the stature of their other artists,” King wrote in a statement. “We are gratified that the federal court has unambiguously declared that Death Row has no right to engage in such tactics, and must hold all proceeds from these illicit distributions in trust for our client.”
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