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Why the release of new Prince music has been blocked

PrinceGetty ImagesPrince.

After a new Prince album called “Deliverance” was announced, featuring “undiscovered Prince recordings,” a US district judge in Minnesota granted a temporary restraining order to Prince’s estate Wednesday night against the planned release of music.

Prince’s estate sued George Ian Boxill Wednesday, the album’s coproducer, claiming Boxill was “unauthorised” to release the music, according to Rolling Stone. That evening, a judge agreed with the estate, writing that Boxill “shall not publish or otherwise disseminate any unreleased recordings that comprise the work of Prince Rogers Nelson that are alleged to be within the scope of the Confidentiality Agreement between Boxill and Paisley Park Enterprises.” The ruling also ordered Boxill to immediately deliver all of the recordings to the estate.

“Deliverance” is a six-song album featuring music the musician recorded between 2006 and 2008. A track from the album was available earlier this week on iTunes and Apple Music. The full album was set for release on Friday, the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death. But since the ruling, no tracks from “Deliverance” are available on any streaming services.

The musician’s estate laid out its case against Boxill in a statement on Wednesday.

“During his unparalleled career, Prince worked with many sound engineers, including Mr. Boxill,” the statement said. “Like the other engineers that had the opportunity to work with Prince, Mr. Boxill signed an agreement, under which he agreed (1) all recordings that he worked on with Prince would remain Prince’s sole and exclusive property; (2) he would not use any recordings or property in any way whatsoever; and (3) he would return any such recordings or property to Prince immediately upon request.

“Mr. Boxill did not comply with his agreement,” the statement continued. “Instead, Mr. Boxill maintained copies of certain tracks, waited until after Prince’s tragic death, and is now attempting to release tracks without the authorization of the Estate and in violation of the agreement and applicable law.”

The restraining order is set to expire on May 3.

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