Music News

BREAKING–Attorney: Sony Can’t Release Kesha from Contract

Talk about a plot twist.

In a statement made to the New York Times earlier this week, Scott A. Edelman, an attorney for Sony, said the company has “made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with (Dr.) Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha.

In fact, Kesha’s contract is tied to Kemosabe Records, Dr. Luke‘s label, which is a subsidiary of Sony through a series of separate deals affiliated with Dr. Luke’s Kasz Money Inc. production company.

“Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party,” Edelman told the Times.

Sources have confirmed to Billboard that the contract Kesha signed in 2005 was with Kasz Money. In 2009, Dr. Luke took the deal to RCA/Jive, then a subsidiary of Sony Music, in what equates to a distribution deal on the original contract. When RCA/Jive was dissolved in 2011, following the departure of that label’s CEO, Barry Weiss, Kesha’s contract moved to Kemosabe Records, a new subsidiary of Sony Music.

“Through these various agreements, breakups, formations and transfers, Kasz Money essentially licensed its contract with Kesha to various Sony Music subsidiaries, but retained ownership of the agreement throughout,” Billboard writer Andrew Flanagan explains.

In other words, it would be up to Kasz Money to break or otherwise release Kesha from her contract. This might also lend a little credence to Sony’s statements in court that the company would continue to support Kesha’s recorded work and releases and that it would allow her to record without working with Dr. Luke, something Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos, has claimed was little more than lip service.

In other Kesha news, Lady Gaga has joined the ranks of her supporters.



This comes less than a day after Adele showed her support for Kesha during her acceptance speech after winning Best Solo Female Artist at the Brit Awards. As the UK’s Daily Mail notes, Adele is signed to Columbia Records, another Sony imprint. With the release of 25, Adele not only fulfilled her contract with the company but has been cited as a “big part of Sony’s $3.3 billion gain in market value” at the end of 2015.

[NOTE: These stories have been the most popular on this site all week. People are obviously very interested in all aspects of the case. Further reading is also available from The Telegraph. – AC]



Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 515 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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