Judge approves request to rescind UMG’s Prince music deal


The saga of the Prince estate’s recorded-music archives deal with Universal Music Group is reaching an end.

A judge has approved a request to rescind the distribution deal – estimated as being worth $31m – after a controversy concerning exactly which recordings the agreement did and did not cover.

Universal had complained of misrepresentation during the original negotiations, after it emerged that Warner Bros would be holding the rights to some of Prince’s most famous albums for longer than Universal had expected.

“Universal Music Group and the estate of Prince Rogers Nelson welcome the court’s approval of our amicable resolution to this matter,” said UMG in a statement, which made it clear that its other relationships with the Prince estate remain unchanged.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely together on Prince’s music publishing and merchandise to ensure that we deliver the very best experiences to Prince’s fans around the world.”

The estate will now be trying to find a new licensing partner for the material, although it’s clear that it won’t be getting $31m for it.

Stuart Dredge

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