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Kanye West asks Court to free him from ‘unjust’ EMI contract

Written by Laura Cannon- Solent University Student on 07 March 2019

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On Friday 1st March 2019 it was announced that Kanye West had filed a complaint to the superior court of the state of California Los Angeles County on 3rd January this year, asking to be released from his contract with his music publisher EMI which he has been in since 2003.  West states that under Californian law he should have been released from his contract after 7 years of entering into it.

According to west, the seven-year period ended in October 2010 and therefore under Californian Law EMI cannot force obligations under the contract for more than seven years since the contract began and so he believes the copyright of all his music after that period should be returned to him.  West alleges that the contract did not value West’s contributions or success and that he was never paid the full sum of what he was owed. EMI have been accused of exercising options to extend the agreement five times.

EMI has stated that the 2003 contract is still in effect because West did not record enough songs to satisfy the contract to bring it to an end. The filing states that “for more than eight years thereafter, EMI has enforced rights in violation of Californian law, depriving Mr West of the ‘breathing period’ that Californian law mandates.”

Kanye West asked the court to award him all the money that EMI made from his music after October 2010.

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