Music News

Keeping Tabs on the Kesha Saga

The floodgates are wide open, with more articles being written every day from every conceivable angle on the uglier-by-the-minute legal dispute between Kesha (real name Kesha Sebert) and Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald).

Luckily, in addition to keeping track of the latest developments here, the folks at Redef have started a collection of content pertaining to the simmering feud. As of Tuesday night, more than 25 articles were posted there; everything ranging from a Rolling Stone article detailing the finer points of the case to an essay from Lena Dunham on her website, Lenny, entitled “Why Kesha’s Case is about More than Kesha,” and a piece from Buzzfeed allegedly detailing Kesha’s earlier please for help. It’s all there, just scroll through.

There’s some new analysis on the case, too, from Bloomberg, in a piece that examines why following the law might be easy, but the music industry could still be damaged from this case. While Sony says Kesha’s free to record on its label without having to work with Dr. Luke, her relationship with the company “involves more than two parties. Regardless of the public outcry and the mounting public relations disaster for Sony Music, the entertainment giant can’t unilaterally cancel her contract.”

In part, the article states, Kesha “is linked to Sony Music through a music furnishing agreement negotiated by (Dr. Luke’s) company, rather than an outright recording contract. The agreement was established four years after she entered a professional relationship with Gottwald’s firm, Kasz Money. ‘On Jan. 27, 2009, Kasz Money negotiated an agreement with RCA/Jive, a label group of Sony, to furnish Sebert’s recording artist services to Sony,’ according to court filings. With Gottwald in the middle, Sebert and Sony Music weren’t negotiating directly, meaning that the company couldn’t drop Sebert if it wanted to. After the success of Kesha’s Animal, a platinum album, she sought to renegotiate her contract. It was Gottwald, not Sony Music, who declined.”

And while some outlets are reporting about what might be nothing more than a misunderstanding and a unintentional slight from Demi Lovato toward Taylor Swift about a donation Swift made to Kesha and Lovato’s comments about talking to lawmakers about sexual assault issues instead of just throwing money at a problem (it’s all kind of weird and tangential and might not be anything at all), some musicians have taken matters into their own hands. Sort of.

A group called We Are Temporary has taken one of the tracks Kesha made with Dr Luke, “Die Young,” and remastered it to eliminate all of his contributions. Give it a listen:

It’s stripped down, in some ways, with just a touch of menace in the form of a ghostly electronic voice about a minute in and again near the 2:30 mark.


Amber Healy

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

Amber Healy has 523 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

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