music / News

Kanye West Is Seeking a Retroactive End to His EMI Contract

February 1, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Kanye West

Kanye West wants to turn back the clock on his contract with EMI, according to new a legal filing in his lawsuit against the label and Roc-A-Fella Records. TMZ reports that the rapper has filed new documents arguing that his contract with EMI is illegal, as it effectively has no time limit.

The filing relates to the De Havilland Law, which notes that exclusive personal services contracts cannot last longer than seven years. Actress Olivia De Havilland brought the law into prominence (hence its name) when she sued Warner Bros. to let her out of her contract. The lawsuit resulted in the California Second District Court of Appeals making a landmark ruling that the California statute prevents a court from enforcing personal services contracts beyond seven calendar years.

West notes that his deal with EMI requires him to deliver a certain number of songs and that he’s under contract until they’re all delivered, irrespective of the amount of time it takes. West argues that this amounts to “servitude” and he wants the judge to cut off the contract at 2010, which would have been the seven year mark of his deal.

If the judge rules in West’s favor, that would revert the rights to several huge hits of his back to him. They include all tracks from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, his songs from Watch the Throne, The Life of Pablo and more.

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Kanye West, Jeremy Thomas