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Legal Experts Predict Copyright Fight Over Unpublished Prince Songs

April 20, 2017 06:51 PM

Legal experts predict a copyright battle is coming to a St. Paul federal courtroom over five previously unpublished Prince songs.

The tracks were released just days before the one-year anniversary of the music icon's death by Ian Boxill, a sound engineer and mixer who worked with Prince between 2006 and 2008.

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RELATED: Judge Issues Restraining Order, Demand to Turnover Tracks in Lawsuit with Prince Sound Engineer

Late Thursday night, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order requested by Prince's estate against Boxill. And he was was ordered to unpublish the songs.

But Friday afternoon, Boxill's person label Rogue Music Alliance posted the title track, "Deliverance," and made it available for download.

RELATED: Paisley Park, Prince Estate File Lawsuit Against Sound Engineer Holding Unpublished Tracks

Matthew Wilson, an attorney for RMA released this statement:

"The Federal Court located in Minnesota has temporarily enjoined the release of the remaining unreleased tracks on the 'Deliverance' EP. The court order has not enjoined the released single 'Deliverance.' Therefore the 'Deliverance' single will continue to be sold."

Boxill claims he and Prince had joint ownership of the work, while the artist's estate says Prince held "sole and exclusive" rights to the tracks.

Thomas Cotter, a law professor from the University of Minnesota, said the next question a judge is going to have to answer is who was the rightful owner.

"If Prince was the sole author of these songs, then Boxill had no right to exploit them commercially," Cotter said.

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Kirsten Swanson

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