Kanye West Sued For Breach Of Contract
Kanye West is seen here attending the opening night of the new musical The Cher Show on Broadway at Neil Simon Theater on December 03, 2018 in New York City – Photo source: Getty Images North America.
The bid of Kanye West to free himself from his record and publishing deals took another turn Thursday when EMI Music Publishing sued him for breach of contract, according to a report by Jem Aswad of the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
West’s attempts to get out of those deals, while initially seeming like one of his off-the-cuff rants, soon gained more solid footing as the artist and his attorneys’ claim that his contract violates California’s statute limiting personal services contracts to no more than seven years. In response, EMI moved West’s lawsuit to federal court , arguing that his claims are blocked by copyright law. The company also denied the claim of Kanye West that he is providing personal services, although his contract, signed before he attained mainstream success, arguably prevents him from retiring during the contract’s term.
EMI’s new complaint argues that publishing deals of Kanye West include a clause providing exclusive jurisdiction in New York, and that any challenges are subject to New York law. EMI claims that the artist’s lawyers have made a “flagrant attempt to forum shop his way around” those clauses and that his contracts “remain in full force and effect in their entirety.”
THR notes that Kanye West may argue that parties “can’t contract around California’s attempt to curtail contractual servitude,” and that the publisher is attempting to block his First Amendment rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Contacted by Variety, a rep for EMI parent company Sony/ATV had no comment.