Injunction Blocks the Release of Prince Recordings

June 2017

Recorded music


A number of Prince recordings will not be released until the dispute between Ian Boxill and the Prince Estate is resolved.


Ian Boxill has been told by a US court that he cannot release any tracks that he worked on with Prince: however, things may change when the dispute between Prince’s Estate and Boxill is resolved.


The action stared when Boxill announced that he had plans to release a six track EP of unreleased Prince tracks. He planned to release the EP on the first anniversary of the unfortunate death the superstar.  The tracks were the work of a collaboration between Boxill and Prince from 2006 and 2008.


However, when Prince’s Estate found out about Boxill’s plans they went to the courts to stop the release. A temporary restraining order was initially issued, stopping Boxill’s plans to release the EP on the first anniversary of Prince’s death. This initial restraining order had been extended to Monday just been and now a preliminary injunction has been issued.

The preliminary injunction provides that Boxill is prevented from releasing any collaborations between himself and Prince until the legal action is concluded. The injunction also provides that Boxill is prevented from using the Prince trade mark.


The court ruling states “on balance, the [relevant] factors weigh in favour of granting plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. However, the scope of a preliminary injunction should not be greater than necessary to protect the movant until the dispute can be resolved on the merits”.


The dispute between Boxill and the Prince Estate revolves around a confidentiality agreement between the two parties. It has been reported that the agreement states the recordings from Bobill’s work with prince “shall remain [Paisley Park Enterprises’] sole and exclusive property, shall not be used by [Boxill] in any way whatsoever, and shall be returned to Paisley immediately upon request”.


In the interests of Prince fans, and the unreleased music, one hopes (but doubts) the dispute is resolved quickly.


And the Prince Estate Administrator has asked a US  Court to rescind $31 million (£24 million) deal with The Universal Music Group. In a new court filing, Comerica Bank has recommended that a judge rescind the Estate’s deal with Universal Mfor the licensing rights to the late icon’s recorded-music catalogue. The filing notes that Warner Music Group’s Warner Bros. Records claimed that the Estate’s special administrator, Bremer Trust, “sold rights to UMG that WBR already holds.” Comerica says that it “cannot unequivocally assure UMG or the court that no overlap exists” with respect to those rights. Comerica Bank was appointed the Estate’s personal representative in Bremer’s place on February 1st (after the UMG deal). At the beginning of May, court documents showed a partly redacted letter that demanded the deal was cancelled, and the money returned to UMG.  The major label had claimed it was misled over when it would be able to start re-releasing late musician’s pre-1996 catalogue.


By Samuel O’Toole, of Lawdit Music

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