28 songs created by artist Chuck D were fraudulently purchased by Michael Closter and Reach Global music published company using false registration. The lawsuit states that the acquisition happened in 2001 but was not made clear until this year. Chuck D’s lawyers are reporting in the suit that Reach Music created a plan that included “unconscionable contracts, hidden transactions, false and fraudulent copyright registrations, and false, incomplete accountings.” They explain that this was done to hide profit from Chuck D. The majority of the works under question are songs that Chuck D helped write for Public Enemy in the 1980s.
In response, Closter’s lawyer has said, “18 years ago, Mr. Ridenhour voluntarily signed agreements that granted Reach a minority ownership interest in Mr. Ridenhour’s share of his music copyrights. Mr. Ridenhour had a lawyer and manager review the agreements, and they were signed at the manager’s house in Los Angeles. Since that time, Mr. Ridenhour enjoyed a positive and very successful business relationship through his company Terrordome, reaping millions of dollars in royalties and hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to cover his expenses. Not once did Mr. Ridenhour ever express frustration in his business dealings with Mr. Closter. Now, Mr. Ridenhour has new management that is seeking to intimidate Mr. Closter into giving up his minority interest in Terrordome by filing repetitive, baseless lawsuits. Mr. Closter intends to defend himself vigorously, and we look forward to proving the validity of his agreements with Mr. Ridenhour.”
Chuck D is seeking “$1 million in damages, full ownership of his composition copyrights, an order for defendants to furnish accurate accounting documents, and pay any money previously withheld and additional exemplary damages.” A hearing has been scheduled for later this month to decide on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Closter’s lawyer.
– Excerpt from an article for Billboard Music by Claudia Rosenbaum. Find the full article here.
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