He is suing the new owners of Death Row Records for unpaid royalties, and for releasing a new version of his classic 1992 album, The Chronic, without his permission.
Dre filed the suit in a federal court in Los Angeles yesterday against WideAWAKE, who purchased Death Row and its catalog in early 2009. Dre says he hasn’t received any royalties from the album since he left the label in 1996.
The lawsuit says that Dre’s lawyers notified the new owners that he was owed unpaid royalties but they have failed to pay him. He claims the label breached his contract by releasing The Chronic Re-Lit and a greatest hits compilation without obtaining Dre’s permission and securing the proper rights.
They also sneakily released the record digitally since his original contract with Death Row never included digital distribution rights. Remember that we’re talking about a contract that was drawn up in the early 90’s. There was no such thing as ipod or napster back then.
Dre is seeking over $75,000 in damages for breach of contract, false advertising, trademark infringement and misappropriation of publicity.