According to the New York Times, legal documents have been filed by Tupac Shakur‘s estate against Universal Music Group over their culpability in a “2008 fire” that burnt away the master recordings of legendary performers: Eminem, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Snoop Dogg, were among those listed in the initial roundup.
It seems that Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur’s recordings are the biggest losses as the estates have listed them as major proponents in the lawsuit. Bands such as Hole and Soundgarden are also implicated in a far less latent capacity. The fire in question is alleged to have destroyed over 100,000 audio clippings, to the effect of 500,000 total master recordings (songs per diem) – numbers UMG claim are informed by “inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions, and fundamental misunderstandings.” They, the Universal Music Group, nonetheless expressed a need to maintain a code of transparency with respect to the artists under their banner (archival).
The legal documentation reportedly states that UMG failed to uphold their obligation “protect” the master copies. What exactly that entails, is subject to interpretation. The lawsuit also claims that none of the artists affected by the 2008 fire have ever received compensation for their losses. The consortium is seeking over $100 million in damages. Keep it locked updates on the developing story, as they become readily available.