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Rita Ora sues for release from Roc Nation contract

By | Published on Friday 18 December 2015

Rita Ora

Rita Ora is suing Roc Nation claiming violation of California’s oft cited ‘seven year rule’ on contract terms. The singer says that her career as a recording artist has been stalled by Jay-Z’s company, meaning she has released only one album since signing her record deal in 2008, despite recording several that have never seen the light of day.

She is now seeking a court judgement that her contract is unenforceable due to it passing California’s seven year limit on the length of ‘personal services contracts’.

“When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist”, states the complaint, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company”.

The complaint also says that she has been “hamstrung” as a result of being left with Sony distribution even after Roc Nation moved its formal relationship to Universal, leaving her in “a political quagmire of dysfunction”.

In these cases, there is often a dispute over exactly what an artist is contracted for – providing their ‘personal services’ or the albums that result from them. Generally, labels facing this situation will counter that they are due damages on undelivered albums. However, Ora seems to be arguing that – even if Roc Nation says that – she has delivered enough albums under her deal, but the label has failed to do anything with them.