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Kanye West has been gracing his fans with his Sunday Service series for the past couple months. Yet after promising a brand new album before the close of 2018, we have yet to get many updates on when we would be hearing it.
The Chicago artist recently filed a few lawsuits against his publishing company EMI, Roc-A-Fella Records, and Universal Music in hopes he can buy out his publishing, and trying to cash in on royalties he claims he never received. While the documents were released, it was heavily redacted when it was released.
A leaked document, with detailed on West’s original contract before the release of 2004’s College Dropout reveals an eye opening contract which bars him from retiring from music according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“You (Mr. West) hereby represent and warrant that to [EMI] that You will, throughout the Term as extended by this Modification, remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums, as Your principle occupation. At no time during the Term will you seek to retire as a songwriter, recording artist or producer or take any extended hiatus during which you are not actively pursuing Your musical career in the same basic manner as You have pursued such career to date. (The preceding representation shall not be deemed to prevent You from taking a vacation of limited duration.)”
He is fighting a clause that limits personal service contracts to seven years. He claims he has been working for EMI since 2003, the year before the release of his debut album.
According to THR:
West seeks to “obtain his freedom” from publishing and record contracts, and as the basis for doing so, he cites California Labor Code section 2855, which limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years. It’s the law that famously provided Gone with the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland her freedom from Warner Bros.
The fight continues in court where EMI is looking to move it from state court to federal court which will hear the arguments about copyrights.