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Kanye West, EMI Music Publishing Settle Legal Dispute

Kanye West and his music publisher, EMI, have ended their legal dispute, according to court documents, with the parties settling for an undisclosed amount. The news was first reported by The Blast.

The documents read in part, “PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Plaintiffs Please Gimme My Publishing, Inc., West Brands, LLC, Kanye West, and Ye World Publishing, Inc. (the “Plaintiffs”) and Defendants EMI April Music, Inc. and EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (the “Defendants”) (collectively, the “Parties”) have reached an agreement in principle to settle the above-captioned action in its entirety. The Parties expect to draft and finalize a settlement agreement within ninety (90) days.”

The dispute became public in a free-form video posted online last October, at the peak of West’s erratic behavior last fall, in which the artist said he’d tried to purchase his publishing catalog from Sony/ATV Music and they declined. “I have the money to buy [back] my publishing,” West says in the video. “And they told me that I couldn’t buy my publishing…. It’s like the control.” While the terms of his contract are not public, music publishing deals typically do not allow artists to simply buy back their publishing whenever they want.

In January, West filed a pair of lawsuits in an attempt to extract himself from his publishing and label deals (the news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter). One is against EMI Music Publishing, with whom he signed in 2003 and which is now owned by Sony/ATV, and the other is against the Universal Music Group companies Roc-a-Fella Records (the formerly Jay-Z-owned record label that released his early albums), Def Jam Records and UMG’s merchandising arm, Bravado. The move seemed to be an attempt to acquire the rights to his music, something he also alluded to in the October video, obliquely referencing Prince’s strenuous efforts over the years to gain control of his catalog.

EMI sued him for breach of contract in March.

Reps for West and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns EMI, declined or did not respond to Variety’s requests for comment.

 

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