(AllHipHop Rumors) Like 10 years ago, a massive fire happened. We thought the damage was minimal as it was reported that only an entertainment ride and some other stuff was damaged. No harm, no foul. And the whole thing carried on. What we didn’t know at the time was that scores of master recording were lost in that fire! These are the original recordings of stars like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles , Elton John, Steely Dan, Nirvana and more. From a Hip-Hop perspective, these loses include Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, The Roots, Tupac Shakur, and others. Real fast: it was originally reported that Eminem’s masters were lost, but they were not. Eminem’s masters were digitally backed up a few months before the massive fire in 2008. Remember these songs were on REELS.
So, this revelation has a massive backdraft, if you will.
Here is the rumor. The rumor is that this was some sort of insurance scam. I am not saying that because Universal is a beast! Secondly, it doesn’t really make sense. I will explain that in a minute. The first thought is that Universal took the loss of all those masters for some sort of incredible windfall of cash! I can imagine that this was a massive amount of money if they indeed got bread from it. We are talking about 500,000 in master recordings from some of the biggest names in music. But, there is another side.
First off, Universal is apparently trying to sell a part of the company off. This fire may have been hidden, but there is no way (in my opinion) that that could still sell it as if ALL these recordings were still in their company. That would be fraud and somebody buying were to find out, they would be misled. There would be a legal case - period. I saw on Forbes that the valuation of Universal can be severely impacted by this fire.
On the other side of life, I am hearing that the estates of the artists that lost their masters are now suing Universal. Attorney Howard King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano told The Los Angeles Times, “This has a potentially huge impact on their future, coupled with the rather disturbing fact that no one ever told them that their intellectual property may have been destroyed. There is a significant amount of discussion going on, and there will be formal action taken.”
What do you think?