Funk legend George Clinton has had a long history of legal woes when it comes to the ownership of his large musical catalogue. While the “Flash Light” creator was awarded his masters back in the past few years, he was just hit with some disappointing news about said master recordings. The U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled four of Clinton’s master recordings can be sold against his will in order to pay off his $1.3 million dollar debt to his former legal team.
The law firm of Hendricks & Lewis represented George Clinton from 2005 until 2008. During the time they were his lawyers, they helped Clinton reclaim ownership of his masters. However, Hendricks & Lewis claim they are owed $1.3 million from the artist. The two parties have been battling it out in court for some time and Clinton just lost this battle. A judge has authorized the sale of four Clinton recordings. Clinton is being forced to sell “One Nation Under A Groove,” “The Electric Spanking of War Babies,” “Uncle Jam Wants You” and “Hardcore Jollies.”
George Clinton initially tried to appeal the ruling on the grounds that copyright laws prevented the involuntary sale. That’s true, but the copyright filed on the recordings in question were filed as “works made for hire” by Warner Brothers Records. That means technically George Clinton isn’t considered an author of any of the recordings up for sale. So a court appointed receiver will sell the four recordings and the money will go directly to Hendricks & Lewis law firm.
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