Artist News Business News Labels & Publishers Legal

Kanye West close to settlement with EMI Music Publishing

By | Published on Tuesday 24 September 2019

Kanye West

Kanye West has reached an “agreement in principle” with Sony/ATV’s EMI which could end a legal battle between the rapper and his music publisher.

West went legal at the start of a year in a bid to get out of his ongoing contractual commitments to EMI Music Publishing. He sued in the Californian courts. The location was important because key to his case is a rule under Californian state law that says that no one can be forced into a service contract that lasts longer than seven years. West started working with EMI in 2003 meaning, he argued, his commitments to the company ended in 2010.

Whether or not California’s seven year rule applies to record and publishing contracts has long been debated in the US music industry. Though in a countersuit, EMI pointed out that its deals with West fall under the laws of New York State anyway, where there is no seven year rule. West then filed new legal papers seeking to keep the dispute on the West Coast.

However, throughout all of this – and despite West claiming that his EMI deal amounted to “servitude” – talks between the two parties were ongoing. And now West’s legal team have filed paperwork in the Californian courts saying that the rapper and the publisher have reached an “agreement in principle” which would end the litigation. The legal filing added: “The parties expect to draft and finalise a settlement agreement within 90 days”.

Needless to say, terms of that settlement are not known. But it is looking increasingly certain that we won’t get any quality court time with West in the witness stand laying into EMI and all who work there. Which is no fun at all.