Chuck D Is Suing A Publishing Company For Copyrights To 28 Of Public Enemy’s Songs

The rap legend says he unknowingly signed a deal in 2001 that only gave him partial ownership of his compositions.

Rap legend Chuck D’s feud with Reach Global is heating up. The Public Enemy founder has filed a second lawsuit against the firm, alleging the publisher bamboozled him out of full ownership over his music, which has cost him more than $1 million in royalties.

RELATED: In Case You Thought Flavor Flav Had Beef With Chuck D...

  • TMZ reported back in August that Chuck was taking his longtime publishing partner to court. In that lawsuit, the “Fight the Power” rapper claims that Reach has been falsely registering his original compositions under its name and taking his royalties.


  • According to court documents obtained by Billboard, Chuck filed a second lawsuit this Tuesday (Oct. 15), alleging that the firm wrongfully copyrighted 28 of his original compositions that he either wrote or co-wrote after 2012, which was outside of their preexisting agreement.


  • Chuck D’s allegations specifically fall at the feet of Michael Closter, Reach Global’s owner. The two agreed to jointly launch an independent music publishing company, Terrordome Music Publishing, of which both Reach Global and Chuck D’s Bring the Noize Music were shareholders. 


  • Through the venture, Reach was originally supposed to manage the publishing rights to Chuck D’s music, which also include reacquired song rights from his Def Jam days.

    Instead, the rapper claims he has lost ownership of more than 42 percent of his music catalog due to "unconscionable contracts, hidden transactions, false and fraudulent copyright registrations,” as well as “incomplete accountings.”

  • Speaking through his attorney, Closter disputed the claims levied against him and filed a motion to have the case dismissed. Flavor Flav, Public Enemy’s other half, sued both Reach and Chuck D in 2017 over similar claims.

    "We stand by our claims,” Chuck D’s manager, Lorrie Boula, said in a statement to Billboard. "We spent three years researching and gathering documentation before we decided to file multiple lawsuits against Reach. We also closely monitored Flavor Flav’s 2017 lawsuit against Reach, which had many similar claims. Ultimately, Reach settled with Flavor for an undisclosed amount and the settlement was sealed. We are confident that we will be triumphant."

  • Both Chuck D and Reach Global will appear in court to settle the dispute soon, as a hearing for the first case will take place on November 25.


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