Nowadays, hip-hop producing legend Dr. Dre is known for bringing the DJ culture to the Average Joe and for working on one of the most ridiculously postponed albums in music history. But lest you forget Dre is also the mastermind behind The Chronic, one of hip-hop’s most influential and highly regarded LPs. It’s so well beloved that now, almost 18 years after its release, The Chronic is pitting Dre against his former label Death Row Records in a battle over ownership and trademark, according to Billboard.biz.
Death Row, now known as WIDEawake Death Row Records after going through bankruptcy last year, released The Chronic Re-Lit, which Dre claimed violated his rights of trademark and publicity. On Monday, though, a California judge threw out that claim.
Using the Monty Python Rule (which refers back to a case from the ’70s involving edited versions of the comedy being aired on TV), California District Court Judge Christina Snyder ruled the new Death Row made only “minor and inconsequential” changes to the album, including using the original covert art as to not imply Dre’s endorsement of that album and a greatest hits collection. Meaning, they were well within the rights to reproduce the album via original oral agreements from the ’90s.
Despite the initial set back, the same court ruling allowed Dre to go after Death Row for royalties he has not received since leaving the company after initial disputes in 1996.
Stay tuned for more details on the court proceedings.