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Company Town : Taped Call Can't Be Used in PolyGram Suit

August 05, 1994|JAMES BATES

A strange twist has developed in an already-bitter battle involving maverick record producer Rick Rubin, who wants to get out of a venture his American Recordings has with a unit of PolyGram to sell his records overseas.

Rubin has sued in Los Angeles to break a venture with PolyGram's London-based Phonogram unit, arguing that it hasn't properly sold albums by his artists, which include the Black Crowes. He also claims he's owed nearly $14 million. Phonogram has countersued in Great Britain to make Rubin honor the contract.

Now it comes out that Phonogram obtained through a hacker a tape recording of an allegedly juicy telephone conference call among Rubin, music lawyer John Branca and various Rubin executives, one of whom was on a cellular phone.

According to court papers in London, a chief chancery master denied a request by Phonogram to enter the tape into evidence and has taken possession of it.

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