Prince‘s former recording engineer has been ordered to pay the late singer’s estate nearly $4 million (£3m), after sharing unreleased material online without permission.
George Ian Boxill worked on music with the icon for four years between 2004 and 2008. In April 2017 – a year after Prince’s death – the engineer released the ‘Deliverance’ EP to streaming platforms. The collection contained six tracks, including ‘Touch Me’ and ‘Sunrise Sunset’.
Shortly after, it was pulled from services – with Prince’s estate filing a lawsuit against Boxill for “trying to exploit” the artist’s death. A restraining order was also granted to halt the release.
Now, it’s reported that the engineer has been ordered to hand over $3.96 million in an August 2018 arbitration ruling. Billboard claim that the order was ruled in Minnesota federal court yesterday (April 8).
Elsewhere, Variety reports that Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor to the Prince Estate, said of the ruling: “Prince was an exceptionally talented musician. The estate protects the music Prince created aggressively and is pleased with the award against Mr. Boxill.”
Boxill was also ordered to return all the work he had created with Prince to his estate.
It was previously reported that the lawsuit stated a confidentiality agreement had been made between Boxill and Prince, which said that all music they worked on “would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property.” It was also claimed that Boxill agreed that he “would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever” and that “he would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request.”
In a press release upon the initial release of the EP, Boxill said: “I believe ‘Deliverance’ is a timely release with everything going on in the world today, and in light of the one-year anniversary of his passing. I hope when people hear Prince singing these songs it will bring comfort to many.”
Meanwhile, two special Prince releases are being made available for this year’s Record Store Day – see the full 2019 list here.