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Engineer ordered to pay $4M to Prince’s estate after unauthorized music release

Prince performs on Oct. 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris, France.
Prince performs on Oct. 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

George Ian Boxill, the sound engineer behind Prince‘s posthumous EP Deliverance (2017), has been ordered to pay almost US$4 million to the musician’s estate after attempting to release the six-song collection without authorization.

In a legally binding contract created with Boxill, the Deliverance recordings were Prince’s “sole and exclusive property,” as reported by Billboard.

The title track was released exclusively to all major streaming platforms on April 21, 2017 — exactly one year after the singer’s death — before Prince’s estate and Paisley Park Enterprises took legal action against Boxill.

An arbitration clause was then created in late August 2018 ruling that Boxill had to pay the estate for violating the contract he made with the Purple Rain rocker.

After failing to defend himself in the suit, Boxill was ordered to pay exactly $3.96 million to Prince’s estate on Monday by a judge in a Minnesota federal court.

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Producer George Ian Boxill working in a studio.
Producer George Ian Boxill working in a studio. George Ian Boxill / ProSoundNetwork

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Deliverance was scheduled to be released through Vancouver-based independent record label Rogue Music Alliance (RMA).

Before its thwarted release, Boxill spoke with Rolling Stone, claiming that the reasoning behind his decision to partner up with RMA was because “bypassing major labels” is what “Prince would have wanted.”

Hours after the release of Deliverance, Prince’s team reportedly requested a temporary delay on the EP’s release in the form of a restraining order.

It was granted by the judge, however, the title track remained online as the ruling did not apply to the lead single.

Deliverance was supposedly recorded between 2006 and 2008. Boxill claimed to have been not only the co-producer but the co-writer as well.

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Additionally, Boxill was ordered to surrender all recordings and properties he acquired through working with Prince to the estate.

Prince performs at the 10th Anniversary Essence Music Festival at the Superdome on July 2, 2004 in New Orleans, La.
Prince performs at the 10th Anniversary Essence Music Festival at the Superdome on July 2, 2004 in New Orleans, La. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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This week, Boxill reportedly accused the estate of misconduct and disregarding copyright laws in court. The Minnesota judge, however, refuted these claims, saying that there was no basis for them.

Prince died on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57 as a result of a drug overdose.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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