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Kesha, Dr. Luke locked in continuing contract dispute

  • On Behalf Of: Brian O'Toole
  • Published: October 25, 2019

For businesses and artists in Texas, contract disputes can cause significant disruption to work and plans for the future. Even major celebrities may find their albums, movies or other projects delayed for years due to contract problems about production, distribution or payment. One singer, Kesha, has been involved in a legal battle since 2014 with her producer, Dr. Luke, seeking the right to independently distribute her music. However, she has run into a number of problems pursuing an end to her contractual obligations to release music with Dr. Luke. Her latest countersuit against Dr. Luke was dismissed on Sept. 26 after a judge ruled that it was insufficient.

In 2014, Kesha accused her producer of battery and sexual assault while Dr. Luke accused her of defamation and breaching their contract. Kesha dropped her claims in two states in 2016, but the countersuit is continuing to move forward. Several prominent musicians have come forward to support Kesha. Some of them said that they had negative experiences with the producer, who is well-known in the music industry. Several said they would not work with the producer unless he dropped his countersuit.

Kesha signed with the producer in 2005 at the age of 18. The producer’s label, Kemosabe, is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, and Kesha has sought to be released from her contract to produce albums with Dr. Luke and release them on an SME label. She has also claimed that she is not receiving royalties due from the use of her songs.

Musicians and other entrepreneurs have much to be concerned about when they sign contracts. A business law attorney may help people negotiate fair contracts and resolve contract disputes before they undermine years of work.

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