Engineer George Ian Boxill, who worked with Prince between 2006 and 2008, was behind the Deliverance EP, which he tried to release April 21st, 2017 to mark the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death. The moment Boxill teased the project and released the title track, however, Prince’s estate mounted a fierce legal challenge, claiming Boxill was in violation of his contract.
The nearly $4 million fine was handed down in an August 2018 arbitration ruling, which a Minnesota federal court upheld Monday after Boxill tried to accuse the arbitrator of misconduct and ignoring copyright law. Boxill was also ordered to give the estate all the materials he had from his work with Prince.
Boxill claimed he co-wrote and co-produced the six songs on Deliverance with Prince, then took it upon himself to polish the tracks and release them after the musician’s death. Boxill reportedly approached Prince’s camp about releasing the music, but the two parties couldn’t agree upon financial terms.
Instead, Boxill took Deliverance to Rogue Music Alliance, a Vancouver-based label that specializes in Christian music. Almost immediately after Boxill and RMA announced the release of the Deliverance EP, Prince’s estate sued Boxill and were granted a restraining order to halt the release of the EP.
Boxill did not immediately reply to a request for comment.