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George Clinton

Funk Classics Seized

to Pay Off $1 Million Debt

1/6/2013 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0104-george-clinton-gettyGeorge Clinton's ex lawyers gotta have the funk, and a judge just gave it to 'em -- forcing the music legend to hand over four classic recordings to pay off the million bucks he owes the law firm ... TMZ has learned.

According to court docs, Hendricks & Lewis won a $1.5 million judgment against Clinton back in 2010, but was only able to collect $340,000 -- so a Federal Judge just hit GC where it hurts ... his music.

In the docs, the judge grants H&L the copyrights for the following Funkadelic jams:

- “Hardcore Jollies”
- “The Electric Spanking of War Babies”
- “Uncle Jam Wants You”
- “One Nation Under A Groove”



According to the ruling, H&L can sell or use the music however it wants -- with all money going toward paying back the original judgment.

Once that's paid off, the copyrights go back to Clinton ... who has filed a motion to reverse the decision. No ruling on that yet.

Hey, at least they didn't take "Atomic Dog."

18 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Jordan    

George did anyone ever teach you have to pay to play?

467 days ago
2.

UmAnyways    

Put that crap on every tv singin TV comp to butcher to death

467 days ago
3.

UmAnyways    

And rap samples for 50 to use again

467 days ago
4.

Katts Attorney     

He looks like he's trying to squeeze out a turd in this pic

467 days ago
5.

EasilyHard    

How can one be 115 years old with millions earned, and not know they have to pay tax es? He's on that Bieber Kush

467 days ago
6.

vriplazt    

notakway Dah MUSIC MANN never

467 days ago
7.

vriplazt    

DID they take away his teeth also?

467 days ago
8.

verlinda    

One Nation under a groove was he biggest hit to me....classic

467 days ago
9.

myopinion    

I agree Atomic Dog is more popular than the rest!

467 days ago
10.

That Pop Life..yeah..    

They did'nt get the real good stuff..ahhhhh."I could swim under water and not get wet"love'em..

467 days ago
11.

DaveT    

When you mess with the lazy greedy overpaid bureaucrat's massively huge paychecks they steal...er I mean receive...from hardworking taxpayers, they're gonna get ya, oh yes...they will

467 days ago
12.

Funkprobosci    

Don't believe the Poopaganada. H&L have been accused of shady lawyering by Jimi Hendrix's family & Nirvana too. George paid the lawyers over $1million already and has tried to pay off the overbilling from H&L numerous times. They don't want the money. They only want the 4 Album Masters listed above.

Learn the truth at Funkprobosci.com

467 days ago
13.

Funkprobosci    

More on this story from the Big Dog himself:

funkyHandL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNr1l6bRdDo&list=UUKzVl1IVaZLS-B1l1mtlKaw&index=51

467 days ago
14.

Funkprobosci    

I'm posting in hopes you all will understand the depth and significance of this situation and then help spread the word. George Clinton has a blog, Funkprobosci.com, that details the strife faced by many musicians and songwriters. Please visit and spread the word. Below is our response to a recent Hollywood Reporter article that I think you'll find interesting. Thanks for being on the One.
-----------
The Response:

Thanks for helping bring awareness to George's plight. I would suggest fact checking some of your statements though. The 'litigation trail' you speak of should be accredited to Armen Boladian of Bridgeport Music. George did not initiate or participate in those cases. And in a number of instances actually agreed to testify on behalf of the artist being sued for sampling. It was George's hope to shed light on Bridgeport's highly questionable tactics. Whenever he was set to take the stand Bridgeport would drop the case in order to dodge the truth.

Your facts on Hendricks & Lewis' involvement are a bit skewed as well. What you should look into is their handling of the case against Universal. George hired them to pursue a RICO charge. H & L had success in a similar case with the Jimi Hendrix family. Going into the Universal case it had already been established in court that a host of do***ents purported to deliver certain individuals exclusive rights to George's music were fraudulent (ie Cut & Paste). Also George had just been awarded four Funkadelic masters back (Hardcore Jollies, One Nation Under A Groove, Uncle Jam Wants You, The Electric Spanking of War Babies). The court stated as reasoning for delay in George being recognized as owner: This case is about scandalous managers, corrupt attorneys, and uninformed judges. Around this time (2005) it was being realized there was fraud committed at the Copyright Office. Hendricks & Lewis was aware of all this info and much, much more that George had personally communicated to them.

In February 2007, H & L filed a lawsuit on behalf of George against Universal Music Group for an accounting and declaration of right to certain masters originally released by Casablanca Records for Parliament and Parlet. In spite of consistent prior testimony by George that he did not sign the purported Oct 17, 1980 Settlement Agreement & Oct 23, 1980 Artist Agreement with Casablanca , as well as a 2005 forensic do***ent expert opinion that the Oct 17 agreement was suspected to be another Cut & Paste do***ent, H & L filed (without prior consultation with George) the complaint as a 'breach of contract' case - attaching these do***ents as 'true and correct copies' that George signed for Parlet.

It should also be noted here that George had a Key Man Clause in his Casablanca contract, as did Kiss and others, that when Neil Bogart left the company the artist reclaimed all rights to their music. Neil did leave. So in fact Universal, the final beneficiary of the Casablanca buyout, has no claim to anything.

During discovery in February 2008, UMG produced a do***ent dated Dec 23, 1980 to rely upon their claim of ownership to the Parlet masters. This do***ent was prepared by Michael Rosenfeld (see Jimi Hendrix case) for NeNe Montes (George's former manager and another key schemer in this). In Apr 2008 George's deposition was taken and he not only discovers the serious error that H & L made in filing the action, but also learns of the Dec 23, 1980 do***ent. He had never seen it before until UMG produced it. That do***ent was relied upon by UMG to establish its ownership of the Parlet masters. It also seemed to infer that Montes was paid $250,000 by Casablanca upon receipt of the do***ent.

Hendricks & Lewis never bothered to produce the 2005 expert report, have any do***ents produced by UMG submitted to a forensics expert, nor designate any such expert for trial.

In May 2008 George developed serious concerns about H & L for obvious reasons. He brought in another attorney as an independent investigator regarding the UMG do***ent. On July 14, 2008 a forensic do***ent expert retained by that attorney for George executed a declaration concluding the Dec 23, 1980 do***ent was a cut and paste. The declaration was filed on July 28, 2008 in support of George's Motion to Amend the Final Pretrial Order.

The trial court denied that motion, but during trial George still attempted to introduce expert testimony that the do***ent relied upon by UMG was fraudulent. It was denied again on the basis that the expert should have been timely designated and then presented as part of George's case in chief. The court ultimately found the do***ents introduced by UMG were valid and granted judgement to UMG.

Hendricks & Lewis walked away from the case while it was pending. Essentially leaving George on his own. They reason this action was due to a complete breakdown of attorney/client trust not for unpaid fees. It would seem they dug their own hole by failing to operate as competent counsel which facilitated such a breakdown. H & L had the cards stacked in their favor to be successful in the UMG case. Instead of cashing in with a settlement or victory for George against UMG they curiously handled the case miserably leaving the door wide open for Universal's win.

George has agreed to pay H & L. There is no doubt in that. Though the initial figure of $4 million sought by H & L was contested and reduced to it's present $1.6 million. It should also be noted that George did pay H & L upwards of $1 million already. He kept his receipts if you'd like to see them. With in insatiable appetite H & L has placed levies and garnishments on every revenue stream they can find of George's, including the Black Eyed Peas case. They also filed a temporary restraining order blocking George from making any moves with his assets. It seems they will make an effort to attain the masters George won back in 2005 as well. George was in court as recently as Feb 14, 2011 to discuss this matter with a judge who seemed to be hip to H & L's overreaching aims. Interestingly others, including the Jimi Hendrix Family and Courtney Love have accused Hendricks & Lewis of excess legal fees. This seems to be a trend with them.

Thanks again for your time and attention to this situation.

Funkprobosci

467 days ago
15.

Phil Cenedella    

"I (George Clinton) want to be known as the man who brought to the attention of America the copyright issues. That’s what I would like my legacy to be, to have turned people on to the fact that they need to fight for their rights to their music.

You have to fight a lot of people for your music. You have to fight the copyright companies, like BMI. You have to fight these record companies because they really want to take it all. Right now, it’s time for people to start getting their music back.

From about 1978 to 2013, the first thirty-five years, is the timeframe from which you’re allowed to get your music back. In 2013, this will be the first time a lot of people are going to get their music back!"

www.flashlight2013.com

467 days ago
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