×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Prince Engineer Ordered to Pay Estate $4 Million Over Unauthorized Release

A Minnesota judge on Monday ordered a recording engineer to pay Prince’s estate almost $4 million for releasing an unauthorized EP of songs by the late musician in 2017.

George Ian Boxill, who worked with Prince from 2004 through 2008, released the “Deliverance” EP to streaming services in April 2017 in breach of his contract with Paisley Park Enterprises and the artist, the judge ruled; on the release, Boxill claimed co-writing and co-producing credits with Prince. The release of the EP was almost immediately followed by a lawsuit from the artist’s estate and was quickly removed from streaming services and retailers after a hearing held in Minnesota. During its brief window of availability, the release reached No. 1 on iTunes’ pre-order chart and No. 2 on Amazon’s album chart. Boxill’s business partners, Rogue Music Alliance, LLC, David Staley and Gabriel Solomon Wilson, were also named in the action.

An arbitrator later held that Boxill breached his contract with Prince and awarded the estate $3,960,000. The estate is also pursuing claims for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and improper use of the late superstar’s image and likeness. At the 2017 hearing, Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright of the United States District court issued a temporary restraining blocking Boxill’s efforts to release any of Prince’s music and ordered him to “deliver all of the recordings acquired through his work with Paisley Park Enterprises” and return them to the estate.

Troy Carter, entertainment advisor to the estate, said, “Prince was an exceptionally talented musician. The estate protects the music Prince created aggressively and is pleased with the award against Mr. Boxill.”

Despite the shady provenance of the EP, which was released near the first anniversary of the musician’s death, the songs on it are surprisingly strong — particularly the title track, a bluesy slow-burner with some blazing guitar work, gospelesque backing singers and a soaring falsetto vocal from Prince. An “opera” included on it is less successful but still intriguing — the four linked segments are dramatically different stylistically, ranging from a simple rocker to a gentle ballad, a complex, almost classical segment and a closing slow groove — as is the longer version of the song “I Am.” The material is strongly reminiscent of Prince’s 2006 album “3121,” which dates from the same era and many fans feel is among the best of his later albums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Biz

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

  • Sammy Shore Dead: Comedy Store Co-Founder

    Sammy Shore, Co-Founder of The Comedy Store, Dies at 92

    Sammy Shore, the well-known stand-up comedian who co-founded The Comedy Store in Hollywood, died in Las Vegas, Nev. from natural causes. He was 92. Shore founded The Comedy Store with writing partner Rudy Deluca on April 7, 1972. His ex-wife, Mitzi Shore, took ownership of the club in the divorce settlement, and the venue went [...]

  • Outlander Season 4 Finale

    What CBS' Pursuit of Starz Means for CBS, Lionsgate

    CBS’ effort to buy pay TV service Starz from Lionsgate seems on the surface to be a head scratcher. CBS has told Wall Street for years that it has prospered because it brings only two must-have services to the table in negotiations with MVPDs, allowing the Eye to drive a hard bargain. Why would CBS [...]

  • Dana Brunetti

    Dana Brunetti Sues to Block Season 2 of 'Manhunt'

    Producer Dana Brunetti filed suit on Friday seeking to block the second season of the anthology series “Manhunt,” which is set to dramatize the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Brunetti sued Lionsgate, the production company, as well as Discovery Communications and Charter Communications. Brunetti, the producer of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and many other [...]

  • PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers

    PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers Data From Platform

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that is headed into administration (the British equivalent of bankruptcy), today posted a note to artists and fans, offering the ability for artists to download their data from the platform. A source tells Variety that more information will be coming once an administrator is named — when that happens, at some [...]

  • Spanish actress and member of the

    AIG and AS Talents Announce Agency Tie-Up (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Unger’s talent, management and branding venture, Artist International Group, has partnered with AS Talents in France, which represents leading European performers Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Elza Zylberstein and Rossy de Palma. Paris-based AS Talents is headed by Alexandra Schamis. The move, announced Friday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, is the latest [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content