It seems Jay Z has an intense legal battle coming his way, courtesy of Rita Ora. The singer is suing Jay Z’s record label Roc Nation, on the grounds that her vontract is in violation of California law. She will be using the “seven-year rule” as her defense during the course of the lawsuit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a complaint was filed last Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court saying:
“When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist. As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”
It alludes to the idea that she had been abandoned by Roc Nation, “self-funding her promotional television appearances, recording costs and video projects.”
Back in 2008, Ora signed on to Roc Nation as an 18-year-old. However, her music has apparently been distributed by Sony (the company she was signed to prior to Roc Nation), even though Roc Nation changed to a new distribution partner, Universal, in 2013.
“Between Sony’s limited economic return from its orphaned relationship with Roc Nation and Sony’s indirect relationship with Rita, Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction,” the complaint states.
Tidal is referenced as one of Jay Z’s other ventures that support the idea that the label is now “diminished”, tending to the needs of “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.”
The “Seven Year Rule”, or as Rolling Stone defines it, the law that a personal service contract cannot be enforced after seven years from when it is signed. Musicians and actresses, such as Olivia Newton John and Olivia De Havilland have used the law to free themselves from particular companies.