The management office of Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández confirmed that Mexico’s Federal Public Ministry conducted a search of Sony Music’s Mexico offices and seized albums, master recordings and cover art of Fernández.
The search and seizure was authorized Sept. 3 by a federal court in Mexico City. According to the website of Mexico's attorney general, the search was conducted by agents of the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry.
Fernández, one of Latin music’s biggest stars, was signed to Sony Music in 1998. When his contract expired last year, the singer signed with Universal Music and has plans to release two albums this fall.
According to Fernández’s attorney, José Luis Caballero, the singer’s contract allowed Sony to release seven studio albums featuring tracks recorded by Fernández. Fernández fulfilled his obligation but in the process also recorded many tracks that were later not included in any of his albums for various reasons.
But a few weeks ago, Sony announced it would release a Fernández album of previously released material called “Diferente.” Fernández and his team immediately objected.
“What Sony did that was wrong and illegal was to assume that they could take those tracks that weren’t part of the previous albums and release them as an eighth album as if it were new material over which they had rights,” says Jose Luis Caballero, Fernández’s attorney in Mexico. “And it’s perfectly clear that the company’s contract is limited to seven albums.”
Caballero says his office sent Sony Mexico a cease and desist letter some two weeks ago but received no response. He then took the matter to court and obtained the search and seizure court order.
Among the material seized were copies of Fernández’ albums as well as the master recordings and the master art of “Diferente.” The album has not been released.
Sony did not return emails seeking comment.