The ruling is regarding an unreleased album featuring Ja Rule...

DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP chairman LYOR COHEN and DEF JAM RECORDS have been found liable for fraud, copyright infringement and breach of contract by a jury in the NEW YORK FEDERAL COURT.

The decision was made last Friday (March 21) regarding the planned release by TVT Records of a hip-hop album produced by Irv Gotti, and the alleged misuse of other TVT material. The unreleased album was to feature Ja Rule and his group Cash Murda Click (CMC) amongst others.

TVT, based in New York, was the home of Ja Rule and Gotti before they signed separate recording contracts with Def Jam. The company filed the $30 million lawsuit on October 18, 2002, claiming that Def Jam backtracked on an agreement granting TVT permission to release the Gotti-produced CMC album. The album was to feature material by Ja Rule and Gotti made during their contracts to the independent record label.

TVT allege that Cohen and Def Jam interfered with the launch, instructing Ja Rule and Gotti that he would “prevent the album’s release unless it is released on Def Jam’s label, rather than TVT’s”. It was due to hit the shops last November 26.

As reported in Billboard, IDJMG are due to appeal the verdict as a spokesperson for Def Jam feels the jury “was not allowed to consider all the evidence”.

The jury will meet April 28 to determine damages, according to TVT lawyer Peter Haviland.