EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Dre – Refusing to Hand Over 25 Years of Confidential Music Royalty Reports in Legal Battle Accusing Him of Illegal Sampling
The Dirty can exclusively reveal Dr. Dre is refusing to hand over 25 years of music royalty reports in the legal battle with a 70’s R&B singer – who accuses the music mogul of illegally sampling his work — and he has headed to court demanding the judge shut down the musician.
Leroy Phillip Mitchell aka Prince Phillip Mitchel – a 70’s R&B singer – sued Dr. Dre and Universal Pictures over a song featured in “Straight Outta Compton” entitled “If It Ain’t Ruff” that was released back in 1989. Mitchell explained that he’s the owner of the copyright for the 1977 song “Star in the Ghetto”.
The man explained Dre’s song features a sample of his 70’s hit. He said nobody ever authorized the use of the sample and when he reached out to Universal they took no action to fix the issue. He stated Dre’s song sold over 3.5 million copies and resulted in 2 million albums sold. He said he was never aware of the illegal sampling because he wasn’t listed as a co-author or given any credit on the track.
Dre blasted the $6 million dollar lawsuit against him calling it a bunch of nonsense. He explained he created “If It Ain’t Ruff” independently and none of Mitchel’s music was sampled. He pointed out the musician filed his lawsuit way past the statute of limitations and the man doesn’t even own the copyright to the song in question. He argued the two songs aren’t even substantial similar and demanded the $6 million suit be thrown out of court.
Then on January 31st, Dre fired back at Mitchel’s motion demanding the court shut him down. He says the law is clear and the musician is only entitled to financial information 3 years after it was released not the entire 25 years of financial statements. Further, he explains if he was ordered to gather financial records from 1989 to present it would be completely burdensome to him both with time and money.
Dre says he has handed over a myriad of royalty reports detailing the relatively minimal amounts he was paid from his song … which alone was over 5830 pages of documents. He points out while he had a major role in the creation of his track … he does not possess much in the way of documentation relating to the late 1980’s and is demanding the judge shut down the musician’s attempt to force him to hand over 25 years of his financial information.