Prince Restrained… Temporarily

April 28, 2017

Intellectual Property

Prince fans were left disappointed after a temporary restraining order obtained in the US courts prevented the release of the anticipated Deliverance EP.

A five track collection of previously unreleased material – Deliverance – was due to be released on 21 April 2017 to coincide with the year anniversary of the artist’s death. However, within a day of the announcement, lawyers for Prince’s estate together with Paisley Park Enterprises brought a lawsuit against the sound engineer George Ian Boxill for control of the Deliverance tracks. As a result the single of the same name (due to be released at the same time) was removed from all digital services.

Following this decision, the record company responsible for the release of the material – Rogue Music Alliance (RMA) claimed that the Deliverance single had not been enjoined in the Federal Court in Minnesota’s temporary restraining order and RMA stated that the Deliverance single would continue to be sold. The track is now only available on a website set up by RMA.

In obtaining the temporary restraining order, lawyers for Prince’s estate claimed that Mr Boxill violated the terms of a written agreement he made with Prince which stated that all recordings made during his sessions with the artist would remain the artist’s sole and exclusive property.

At present the restraining order is thought to be in place until 3 May 2017 when a follow up hearing will be held to set the course of action going forward.

Briffa Takeaway Points

This case highlights the importance of having proper contractual agreements in place with all third parties assisting in the creation of any material. Companies and individuals should take care to make sure they have protected and reserved the intellectual property rights in material created with the involvement of third parties by way of a written agreement and that they require third parties to provide any copies of the material concerned that they might have in their possession.

Briffa advises on all areas of intellectual property law. We would be happy to discuss with you the steps you can take to make sure your intellectual property is protected. To speak to a lawyer in the Briffa team contact

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