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Artists are rebelling all over the place these days—and the people making the most money these days are lawyers in New Jersey.
LAWYERS, GUNS & MONEY
Well, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Artists are rebelling all over the place these days—and the people making the most money these days are lawyers in New Jersey.

In a victory for funny motherfuckers nationwide, Richard Pryor won back master recordings from his early career, settling a lawsuit with a Middlesex County, NJ company.

Last year, the comedian sued M.B. Music and San Juan Music Group, claiming the company infringed on his property rights. M.B. Music paid $10k for the assets of the bankrupt LaffRecords, which had licensed recordings from Pryor. U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Devevoise—his actual name—found that Pryor had reaquired rights to the recordings the year before LaffRecords went bankrupt. As part of the settlement, Pryor paid M.B. Music $10k, matching the price the company paid for the tapes. The masters contain three to four hours of Pryor concerts from the ’60s and ’70s.

But it’s not just the Middlesex attorneys, getting work; Anthony Sylvester of Morristown, NJ, is representing Gia Prima, Louis’ widow, in her suit against Unidisc Music.

Prima’s suit is the fourth she has filed over the use of her husband’s music. She is suing Unidisc for failing to pay royalties and asking to be named the owner of Prima’s master tapes if the company doesn’t pay up. The company says that because it hasn’t released any music it doesn’t owe any royalties.

Stop us if this sounds familiar: Unidisc bought Prima’s songs at auction after Simitar Entertainment went bankrupt. Mrs. Prima tried unsuccessfully to get royalties from Simitar before its insolvency.

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