The ongoing legal drama surrounding Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings has taken a twist.
The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled in favor of UMA in a move that enables the music major to absorb the iconic Modular label and its stable of international hitmaking artists.
The court, the highest court in the state, found that Modular Recordings’ chief Stephen “Pav” Pavlovic was bound by the terms of a Dec. 24, 2014 settlement agreement with UMA, according to a statement issued Friday by Universal. Pavlovic had claimed that the agreement had been terminated.
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Modular has a long track-record of breaking cutting-edge acts on the world stage. With Pav at the helm, the label signed and delivered a string of largely leftfield acts from Tame Impala to The Presets, The Avalanches, Ladyhawke, Cut Copy and Wolfmother. Back in 2007, the influential British music newspaper NME declared Modular Recordings “the coolest label in the world.” The Sydney-based label expanded its international footprint with the launch of offices in the U.K. and U.S.
“We are very pleased by the court ruling and look forward to continuing to work with Modular and its artists under the Universal Music Group umbrella,” said George Ash, president, Universal Music Asia Pacific. “The Court’s ruling is in the best interests of artists and supports the label’s leadership transition and ongoing success.”
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The case, according to the statement, is expected to return to court in the next few weeks for the finalization of orders and costs.
Pavlovic is expected to appeal the ruling.
In other news, UMA announced that court documents had been filed to dismiss the case against it and Modular Recordings from U.S. proceedings brought by BMG for compensation related to missing Tame Impala royalties. BMG Rights Management launched legal action in which it accused Pav, Modular and UMA of failing to honor an agreement made over royalties from recordings including the psych-rock group’s critically acclaimed InnerSpeaker and Lonerism albums and the group’s self-titled EP.