George Clinton Back In Court Over Royalties
Funk music star George Clinton has returned to an Adrian, Mich., court to try to resolve a lawsuit involving music royalties and a five-year-old eviction. In 1996, Armen Boladian of Bridgeport Music IFunk music star George Clinton has returned to an Adrian, Mich., court to try to resolve a lawsuit involving music royalties and a five-year-old eviction. In 1996, Armen Boladian of Bridgeport Music Inc. of Detroit, successfully sued for possession of the 200-acre Cambridge Township farm where Clinton lived. Boladian claimed he owned the property and Clinton owed nearly $1.2 million in rent for living there since 1985.
Last February, a Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the case was not settled. Clinton claimed that an oral agreement existed that traded music royalties for payments on the farm.
Clinton's attorneys are asking for damages for wrongful eviction and fraud and deception. They're also seeking recovery of royalty payments in excess of lease payments owed to Boladian. The attorneys have asked Boladian for an accounting of all finances involving Clinton's music since 1982. Attorneys are scheduled to meet again in three months.
Clinton sued Bridgeport in 1999, attempting to reclaim the rights to the music he wrote between 1976 and 1983. In January 2001, a U.S. District Court judge in Tallahassee, Fla., ruled in favor of Bridgeport, barring Clinton from profiting from the songs. That suit also claimed Clinton's catalog had been sampled by rap artists without proper payment.
Last June, Bridgeport took the unusual step of filing a copyright infringement suit against more than 800 defendants, including music publishers, copyright administrators, record labels, and performing rights organizations. It alleged that each of the companies had a hand in the production or distribution of rap songs that feature sampled elements of recordings or compositions owned by Bridgeport, and that Bridgeport has not been properly compensated for the use of the samples.
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