Gangsta rapper Andre "Dr. Dre" Young wins the lawsuit over The Chronic reissue against his former label, Death Row Records. Dre's Chronic win occurred within a Los Angeles court on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 with U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder presiding over the hearing.
Dre filed the suit after Death Row Records released a new version and greatest hits compilation of his most popular album, The Chronic, without permission. Judge Snyder found Dre's claim that the digital release of The Chronic violated a 1996 contract regarding the material on the album and the manner of public presentation. The now 15 year old contract clearly stated that Death Row could not distribute any of Dre's material "except in the manners heretofore distributed." The court determined that re-releasing Dre's material was in fact a breach of contract issue and entirely prohibited. A previous hearing dismissed other claims of the suit, including trademark infringement, false endorsement, and publicity rights violations. On Tuesday, Dre was awarded limited "actual damages" to be determined during a jury trial, for reduced royalties from the re-issued album.
Despite co-founding Death Row Records, Dre walked away from the label and went on to Interscope Records. Death Row Records went on to new corporate ownership with the name WIDEawake Death Row Records but encountered financial setbacks.