Judge dismisses lawsuit against Universal Music Group over lost masters
Originally filed by Petty’s widow, Soundgarden, Steve Earle, Hole, and the estate of Tupac Shakur, the plaintiffs sought more than $100 million in damages after alleging that Universal breached its contractual obligations to artists by failing to protect the masters.
A 2008 report by The New York Times revealed that thousands of master tapes of albums and singles were destroyed in a warehouse fire—including Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Aretha Franklin, and Nirvana.
However, UMG later contradicted the article’s claim, stating only 19 artists lost master recordings and all of those had digital replacements. None of the artists listed in the lawsuit were among those UMG admitted to having lost work.
Photo credit: Gary Friedman