Legal and Management

Engineer Ordered to Pay $4M to Prince's Estate Over Unauthorized 'Deliverance' EP

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Prince performs live at the Fabulous Forum on Feb. 19, 1985 in Inglewood, Calif. 

George Ian Boxill must also return all recordings he made with the late singer.

A sound engineer has been ordered to pay Prince's estate nearly $4 million for releasing an unauthorized EP of songs by the late musician, it was ruled in Minnesota federal court on Monday (April 8).    

George Ian Boxill, who released the Deliverance EP to streaming services in April 2017 in violation of a contract with the late singer, was ordered to pay the artist's estate $3.96 million in an arbitration ruling handed down in August 2018. The engineer had attempted to vacate the ruling by accusing the arbitrator of misconduct and of disregarding copyright law, but the judge in the Minnesota case said there was no basis for either of those claims.    

Boxill was additionally ordered to return to the estate all materials obtained through his work with Prince.  

Boxill caused a stir when he announced that the six-song EP consisting of previously-unreleased material would be released through the independent label Rogue Music Alliance (RMA) on April 21, 2017, the first anniversary of Prince's death. But just hours after the title track was released on streaming services in advance of the full collection, Prince's estate and Paisley Park Enterprises filed a federal lawsuit against Boxill, claiming he was in violation of a contract he signed with the singer stating that the recordings were Prince's sole and exclusive property. They requested a temporary restraining order against the EP's release, which a judge granted, though the title track remained online for longer after RMA initially claimed the ruling did not apply to the single.

According to a press release put out in advance of Deliverance's release, Boxill claimed the recordings on the EP were cut between 2006 and 2008 when he and Prince worked together. He further stated that he had co-written and co-produced the tracks alongside the singer and spent a year completing them following his death. 

Prince died in 2016 of an accidental opioid overdose. He was 57 years old.