Business News Legal

Dre wins Chronic case

By | Published on Thursday 21 April 2011

Dr Dre

Dr Dre has won a royalties lawsuit against Death Row Records in relation to his 1992 debut album ‘The Chronic’, which was originally released by the seminal hip hop label of course. Dre sued last year over digital sales of the album. He argued that Death Row did not have permission to sell ‘The Chronic’ digitally, while also claiming he hadn’t been paid proper royalties on the record since 1996.

And, according to Dre’s legal man Howard King, the courts agree, ruling that the label – now owned by WIDEawake Entertainment since the bankruptcy of its founder Suge Knight – had breached the label’s agreement with the rapper by digitally releasing his album without getting permission first. As a result, the courts seemingly ordered that 100% of the profits from digital sales of ‘The Chronic’ should go to Dre.

In a statement to the Associated Press, King said: “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. 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”.

Another part of the same lawsuit, claiming Death Row was guilty of false advertising and trademark infringement for re-releasing the physical version of ‘The Chronic’, were dismissed last year.