27 April 2022CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Roc-A-Fella Records drops suit over Jay-Z album

Roc-A-Fella Records has agreed to drop all claims against GoDigital Records over the ownership of rights related to Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt”.

A joint stipulation submitted to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, April 25, saw Roc-A-Fella drop all claims against defendants with prejudice.

The now-defunct record label initially targetted former Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash in a lawsuit, after Dash attempted to auction off “one third” of his rights to “Reasonable Doubt” via a non-fungible token (NFT). However, the court issued an injunction barring the auction from taking place.

Dash then entered into a contract with GoDigital in which he claimed that he had the “exclusive rights” to Reasonable Doubt and allegedly granted the company to license the album to websites such as YouTube.

This led GoDigital to place a “claim” on the revenue generated by streaming “Reasonable Doubt” on YouTube, leading Roc-A-Fella to file an amended complaint in August 2021, listing GoDigital as a defendant in its copyright lawsuit against Dash.

The parties have now filed a joint stipulation to drop the proceedings against GoDigital.

The joint stipulation asks that all claims bought by RAF against GoDigital in the amended complaint are dismissed.

GoDigital also releaseed “any claim that it had placed with a third party” relating to the rights of “Reasonable Doubt” and said that it will “cooperate” on the transfer of any claim back to Roc-A-Fella.

Any Youtube revenues gained during the dispute period will be released to Roc-A-Fella with 50% being paid to GoDigital.

The stipulation makes no mention of dismissing any claims levied against Dash.

Dash’s NFT play

Roc-A-Fella sued Damon Dash on June 18, 2021, seeking a judgment from the court declaring that it owned all copyrights related to the “Reasonable Doubt” album, that Dash had no direct ownership of any of the rights associated with the album, and that he was not permitted to sell any interest in the album.

They also asked Dash to turn over any assets “reflecting rights” to the album, which included an NFT of the album that he had planned to auction off.

Four days later, the court issued a restraining order barring Dash from auctioning off the NFT, which was scheduled to take place on SuperFarm Foundation, a platform allowing anyone to launch their own NFTs.

The label filed an amended complaint naming GoDigital as an additional defendant on August 6. GoDigital responded on September 8 and denied all claims levied against it and asserted counterclaims against Roc-A-Fella.

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More on this story

24 June 2021   Roc-A-Fella Records has succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order against its co-founder Damon Dash, halting his plan to sell a non-fungible token of Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt”.
13 September 2021   The photographer of the cover image for Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt” has lost a bid to escape claims from the rapper that he misused the copyrighted photograph without consent.