News: Dr. Dre Loses Claims Against Death Row Records

Friday, Jun 11, 2010 10:15AM

Written by Biz Jones

A California judge tossed out Dr. Dre's claims that Death Row Records violated his trademark and publicity with its re-release of his classic album The Chronic.

Based on reports, the matter was addressed this week in court.

On Monday, a California district court tossed his claims that Death Row's release of "The Chronic Re-Lit" violated his rights of trademark and publicity. However, the judge allowed another claim -- that he hasn't been paid royalties since splitting from Death Row in 1996 -- to be heard. In analyzing the case, California District Court Judge Christina Snyder applied the so-called "Monty Python" rule, after a 1976 case where a defendant extensively edited the TV comedy series in order to broadcast it on television. The question was whether the changes to Dr. Dre's album were more than "cosmetic." Snyder ruled the alterations were "minor and inconsequential." She also pointed out that the image used on the cover jacket is the same photograph from the original album, instead of a more current photo, which may have gone further to imply some new endorsement. (ABC News)

Details on the lawsuit began to circulate online last February.

Dr. Dre claims it's been 14 years since he's seen a penny from hisgame changing record, "The Chronic" -- and he's belatedly waging a war against the new Death Row Records. Why you ask would the good Dr. wait so long? We're guessing there's a fear factor that has evaporated since Suge Knight is out of the picture. Dre filed the federal lawsuit against WIDEawake Death Row -- which was created after Death Row filed for bankruptcy last year. In the lawsuit, Dre claims he stopped getting checks from the label after he cut and ran in '96. Dre says the new Death Row has been making lots of money by selling digital copies of "Chronic," "Chronic Re-Lit" and his greatest hits album without permission. Dre is suing for $75,000 minimum. (TMZ)

Dre's debut album set standards in hip-hop around the early 1990's.

Dre released his first solo single, "Deep Cover," in the spring of 1992. Not only was the record the debut of his elastic G-funk sound, it also was the beginning of his collaboration with rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg. Dre discovered Snoop through his stepbrother Warren G, and he immediately began working with the rapper -- Snoop was on Dre's 1992 debut, The Chronic, as much as Dre himself. Thanks to the singles "Nuthin' but a 'G'Thang," "Dre Day," and "Let Me Ride," The Chronic was a multi-platinum, Top Ten smash, and the entire world of hip-hop changed with it. (All Music)

Speaking via a self-made recording, former Death Row artist Daz Dillinger said he respected the company's current CEO, Lara Lavi, last year.

"We looked around all the bullsh*t and come to find out it was John Payne," Daz explained. "And we wanna tell John Payne -- so y'all e-mail WIDEAwake and get rid of that motherf*cker man. That's who we'll go f*ck with, Lara Lavi. We won't be f*cking with them other suckers over there you know what I mean 'cause they got the game screwed. They just over there getting the motherf*cking check. You know what I mean? They ain't produce one thing, they trying to tell you something and them motherf*ckers over there in the high rise somewhere paying a h*ll of a rent to get kicked out." (Daz Dilly TV)

Check out Daz Dillinger speaking on the new Death Row Records down below:

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