A significant chunk of Prince’s catalogue will return to market after a judge nullified Universal Music Group’s contentious, multi-million dollar content deal with the late artist’s estate.
Last week, Judge Kevin W. Eide of Carver County District Court in Chaska, Minn., issued an order approving a request to rescind the agreement after UMG accused representatives of Prince’s estate of misrepresenting the assets it owned and asked for a refund – estimated at US$31 million.
After consideration and threats of expensive legal action, Eide approved UMG and Comerica Bank’s motion to scrap the deal. “As previously noted, this Court believes that the Estate must proceed in a cautious manner to preserve the assets of the Estate,” he explained. “While the rescission of the UMG Agreement may certainly be seen as proceeding with a lack of caution, 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.”
UMG continues to control the rights to administer Prince’s music publishing worldwide, and make his merch. In a joint statement, UMG and the Prince estate said they welcomed the court’s approval of their “amicable resolution” and looked forward to “continuing to work closely together on Prince’s music publishing and merchandise to ensure that we deliver the very best experiences to Prince fans around the world.”