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TVT RECORDS v. ISLAND DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP

October 2, 2002

TVT RECORDS AND TVT MUSIC, INC., PLAINTIFFS,
V.
THE ISLAND DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP AND LYOR COHEN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR Marrero, United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiff's TVT Records and TVT Music, Inc. ("TVT") filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on August 28, 2002 seeking to bar defendants The Island Def Jam Music Group ("IDJ") and its principal, Lyor Cohen ("Cohen"), from frustrating the scheduled release of one of TVT's albums (the "CMC Album"); from conduct that would interfere with the contract between TVT and the artists supplying the content of the CMC Album; and from continuing to utilize some of TVT's copyrighted material on an IDJ video disc entitled, "Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc." An evidentiary hearing was held before the Court on September 23-24, 2002. For the reasons stated in the Court's statement on the record at the proceeding on September 30, 2002, a copy of which is attached and incorporated hereto, it is hereby

ORDERED that the portion of TVT's motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to bar IDJ and Cohen from interfering with the scheduled public release of the CMC Album in November 2002 is denied; and it is further

ORDERED that, pending final resolution of this dispute at trial, IDJ be enjoined from releasing a recording entitled "The Last Temptation", featuring the artist known as Ja Rule, in any form incorporating any of the CMC recordings, both old and new, at issue in this action; and it is further

ORDERED that, pending the final resolution of this dispute at trial, IDJ be further enjoined from interfering with TVT's efforts to obtain possession of the contents of the CMC Album from the artists, agents or third parties, as well as from improperly acquiring and releasing the recordings identified as the contents of the CMC Album, provided that TVT itself shall not release the CMC Album pending the determination of its rights thereto at the trial of this matter; and it is hereby finally

SO ORDERED.

TVT Records v. The Island Def Jam Music Group No. 02 Civ. 6644
Statement by the Court Regarding Plaintiffs' Motion For A Preliminary Injunction

September 30, 2002

I.

This dispute began with a proposed collaboration to produce a music album — referred to as the "CMC Album" — between plaintiffs TVT Records and TVT Music, Inc. ("TVT") and two artists, Jeffrey Atkins, p/k/a Ja Rule ("Ja Rule"), and Irv GOtti ("GOtti"), who were under exclusive contract with defendant The Island Def Jam Music Group ("IDJ"). TVT seeks to enjoin IDJ and its principal, Lyor Cohen ("Cohen"), from (1) any conduct frustrating TVT's release of the CMC Album with Gotti and Ja Rule by November 5, 2002; and (2) interfering with TVT's contractual relationships with these artists who are obligated to complete and deliver the CMC Album to the TVT pursuant to a contract dated July 2, 2001.

The governing law in this matter is clear. In order to prevail on a motion for a preliminary injunction, a party must establish irreparable harm and either (1) a likelihood of success on the merits or (2) sufficiently serious questions going to the merits and a balance of hardships tipping decidedly in its favor. See Kamerling v. Massanari, 295 F.3d 206, 214 (2nd Cir. 2002).

II.

Turning to the facts of the present dispute, the Court begins with TVT's breach of contract and fraud claims. On the issue of whether a licensing contract between TVT and IDJ was formed, as a side agreement (the "Side Agreement") to the CMC Album collaboration, under which IDJ consented to the collaboration between TVT and Gotti and Ja Rule, evidence has been presented as to a variety of written and oral communications, to which the parties ascribe differing interpretations.

In reviewing the likelihood of success on the merits prong of the preliminary injunction standard, the Court notes the following ...


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