US label Curb Records is going federal in its ongoing legal dispute with Tim McGraw.
As previously reported, the nearly two decade relationship between McGraw and Curb ended in legal action in May 2011, with both sides suing the other. At the centre of the litigation was whether McGraw’s album ‘Emotional Traffic’ fulfilled his contractual commitments to the label regards new recordings, whether he was due an advance on it, and whether he was now out of contract with the record company. It was complicated, but ultimately the State courts in Tennessee sided with McGraw, both at first instance and on appeal.
Now Curb Records has launched litigation in the federal courts, accusing McGraw and his new label Big Machine of breach of contract and copyright infringement. The latter claim presumably on the grounds that the country star’s recent album ‘Two Lanes Of Freedom’, released by Big Machine, belongs to Curb under its interpretation of its last agreement with the singer. The new lawsuit seeks ownership of the master recordings, compensation and an injunction stopping McGraw from recording until the ongoing dispute is resolved.
It’s not clear whether the arguments in the federal case will differ at all from the previous state court hearings in which McGraw prevailed. Curb are still appealing, for the second time, in the Tennesse legal battle, though a judge there gave the all clear for Big Machine to release ‘Two Lanes’ in the meantime.
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