A recording engineer who released an unauthorized EP of Prince‘s songs now has to pay the singer’s estate $3.96 million. According to Billboard, the decision was upheld on Monday in a Minnesota federal court, after it was handed down in an arbitration ruling in August of 2018.
The engineer, George Ian Boxill, attempted to release the six-song project titled “Deliverance” on April 21, 2017, on the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death.
But he did it after signing a contract that stated the project belonged solely to the singer, which gave Prince full control over if and when the songs would be released.
The songs were recorded with Prince between 2006 and 2008, and as soon as Boxill released the title track as the first single, Prince’s estate filed a lawsuit. From there, they were granted a temporary restraining order, and the “Deliverance” single as well as the EP was immediately shut down.
Now, on top of the nearly $4 million dollar payout, Boxill will have to give Prince’s estate any other recordings he made with the legendary singer.
The engineer tried to get the initial ruling thrown out because he said the arbitrator was guilty of misconduct and misapplying copyright laws. But a judge dismissed both of those claims.
In a press release that came out prior to the “Deliverance” single dropping, Boxill said he co-wrote and co-produced each song, then completed everything on his own once Prince died from an opioid overdose.
Boxill had gone to Prince’s estate and Paisley Park Enterprises to discuss releasing the project, but they couldn’t come to terms on the financial aspects.
But the engineer still moved forward on his own and brought the EP to Rogue Music Alliance in Vancouver, a label that specializes in Christian music. That’s because all the songs on “Deliverance” focus on Prince’s spirituality and Christian beliefs.