EMI’s On-Again, Off-Again Lawsuit Against Kanye West Is Off-Again

Kanye West and EMI's Lawsuit Heading Toward Resolution
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Kanye West and EMI's Lawsuit Heading Toward Resolution
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Photo of Kanye West by Pieter Jannick Dijkstra

The long-standing legal battle between Kanye West and EMI Music Publishing seems to be finally approaching a resolution.

On January 13, representatives of EMI filed an order with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, indicating that the two parties had come to a tentative resolution to their dispute. They have further stipulated that they would like the case dismissed “with prejudice and without costs (including attorneys’ fees) to either party” if neither party objects to this by February 14 of this year.

United States District Judge Valerie Caproni subsequently signed off on the order.

This means that it is still possible that EMI and West could fail to reach a final settlement, similar to what happened before. But this seems unlikely at this point.

Prior to filing the preliminary order to dismiss, EMI a few weeks earlier filed a motion to extend the deadline for coming to a settlement in the matter by 45 days.

The lawsuit relates to a publishing deal that West signed with EMI in 2003, which the two parties extended multiple times. Eventually, West felt that the contract had conditions that were far too stringent. Eventually, he tried to get out of it by using a California law that has long allowed artists to break long-term personal service contracts.

The only problem was that the contract specifically listed New York as the jurisdiction for settling any disputes that may arise. So, EMI sued West based on the jurisdiction, hoping that the courts would recognize this fact and disallow West from using the California loophole.

The two parties appeared to come to an agreement this past September. But they couldn’t finalize it. So, in December, EMI asked the court to reopen the case.

Now, we’ll have to wait until Valentine’s Day to find out if the case has been settled for good.