Last month it was reported, Lil Wayne’s attorney Ron Sweeney of Sweeney, Johnson & Sweeney LLC confirmed the rapper reached a settlement with Cash Money Records. Click Here if you missed that.
Judge Barry Ostrager refused to dismiss Aspire Music Group’s profits lawsuit against the industry giant. Aspire, Drake’s first record label, accuses Cash Money of being a sock puppet for Universal — and wants to hold UMG responsible for some of Cash Money’s alleged misbehavior.
According to reports, Last week, New York Supreme Court Judge Barry Ostrager largely rejected a motion to dismiss.
Cash Money argued there was an incontestability provision in the agreement whereby Aspire needed within two years of receiving an accounting statement to provide written objections. Since Aspire hadn’t, the defendant moved for dismissal on the basis that Aspire had failed to meet the conditions of its deal.
“The Money Defendants’ purported frustration of Aspire’s ability to perform any of these apparent conditions precedent necessitates denial of the Money Defendants’ motion to dismiss,” responds Ostrager. “Here, Aspire alleges the Money Defendants provided deceptive statements reflecting no monies due to Aspire and eventually ceased providing Aspire with any accounting statements. Aspire has provided documentary evidence of at least one request to conduct an audit of Cash Money and Cash Money’s purported failure to adequately respond.”
Ostrager also rejects a statute of limitations argument except with respect to claims arising out of accounting statements provided before March 2010. The judge points to a tolling agreement between the parties that extended the time period in which Aspire could sue.
The responsibility — or liability — could fall on Universal’s shoulders. That’s because in an amended complaint Aspire alleges — “adequately,” according to the judge — Universal is the equitable owner of Cash Money and the “alter ego” of Cash Money.
Cash Money was co-founded by Bryan “Birdman” Williams, and Universal technically isn’t the label’s owner.
However, according to Aspire’s complaint, Universal took advantage of Cash Money’s cash flow problems by satisfying debt in exchange for control. The companies are said to share office space and an intermingled business affairs department. Cash Money also is dependent on advances and direct payments from Universal. It’s enough for the judge at this point to see Universal as really controlling the business operations of Cash Money.
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