U.S. District Judge Christina Snyde awarded Dr. Dre 100% of all digital royalties generated from the sale of his seminal album, The Chronic. The rights to the album were purchased by WIDEawake Entertainment when they acquired Death Row Records in a 2009 auction. However, WIDEawake did not stay within the confines of their deal, as they were only supposed to sell The Chronic in its then-current form of CD, Vinyl, Cassette, and 8-Track.
In 2009, WIDEawake (operating as Death Row) released The Chronic: Re-Lit & From The Vault, which featured the album’s original tracks as well as several purposely unreleased joints. The album was sold in physical and digital format, and perturbed Dre because these songs, as well as several others that made their rounds on new Death Row compilations, were used without his permission.
Howard King, one of Dr. Dre’ attorneys, told sources:
“For years, Death Row Records forgot about Dre when they continued to distribute his music digitally and combined his hits with weaker Death Row tracks in an attempt to elevate the stature of their other artists,” King wrote in a statement. “We are gratified that the federal court has unambiguously declared that Death Row has no right to engage in such tactics, and must hold all proceeds from these illicit distributions in trust for our client.”
Yes, he really said “forgot about Dre,” and it was most likely unintentional. Being that its 4/20, its definitely a fitting day for Dre to bogart The Chronic.
Spotted at Billboard