A judge sided with Iggy Azalea in the continuing legal brawl over “inferior quality” music she says was stolen and released without her consent. Although the bout isn’t over, on Monday (Jan. 12) Azalea, whose birth name is Amethyst Kelly, was granted a preliminary injunction stopping ex-boyfriend Maurice “Hefe Wine” Williams from putting out and profiting from more of her old music.
In a lawsuit filed last September, Azalea asserts that Williams forged her signature, and accuses him of committing “willful infringements” of her copyrighted material. U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connor agreed, concluding that the “validity of the agreement” was in question.
In her ruling, Judge O’Connor noted “sharply conflicting testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding the agreement,” among the deciding factors. The “conflicting testimony” included statements from Williams and a man named Kareem Chapman, who claimed he witnessed Azalea sign the contract.
The “Fancy” rapper testified during an evidentiary hearing earlier this month that she signed a deal with Chapman in February 2009, but that the document “seemed really brief” and was nothing more than a “simple management contract that said 20 percent.”
Chapman, however, said Azalea signed paperwork, but not a management contract. He also pointed out that his signature was in the wrong place, upon viewing the recording agreement in question. Questions were raised about when the agreement was drafted too. Williams said it was made well before Azalea signed, while Chapman claims it was put together that same day.
While the judge stated that the unauthorized release “damaged” Azalea's “goodwill with consumers” by preventing her from “exercising control over the presentation of her sound recordings," and missing out on potential revenue, irreversible damage has not been done. O'Connor wrote, "That they used samples from her songs does not deprive her of the right to control when, if ever, she chooses to publish the entire song. That right remains intact."
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(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)