George Clinton wins back master tape rights

July 2005

Record Labels, Artists

Federal Judge Manuel L. Real of Federal District Court of Los Angeles returned ownership of the master recordings of four albums George Clinton made in the 1970’s with his band Funkadelic: In winning possession of the recordings, Mr. Clinton can now control licensing and distribution of the music and lay claim income from past licensing fees. The ruling came as the latest twist in a 12-year legal fight over the rights to the recordings and the copyrights to the songs of Funkadelic and of Parliament, Mr. Clinton’s other funk band. Mr. Clinton may be entitled to income from past licensing fees from record labels whose artists lifted samples, or snippets, from Parliament and Funkadelic albums. Mr. Clinton also has grounds to seek compensation for the re-release of the albums in 2002 by Priority Records, now a unit of the music giant EMI Group.


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