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Def Jam

Cohen/Def Jam Win Judgment, Damages Reduced

Posted By on September 4, 2003

Island Def Jam Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen won a judgment yesterday, dramatically reducing the amount Cohen was ordered to pay for allegedly blocking the release of an album featuring Ja Rule on TVT Records.

On March 21, an 8 person jury in Manhattan federal court found Cohen personally liable for fraud and willful copyright infringement for blocking the release of The Cash Money Cliq. TVT was awarded $132 million dollars, $56 million of which Cohen was to be held accountable for.

Cohen’s punitive damages were cut from $56 million dollars to $3 million, while Def Jam was ordered to pay $50 million dollars in punitive damages, as opposed to the original $108 million.

Cohen’s attorney, Matthew Dontzin, said that any judgment against his client was doomed to failure and that he would appeal the decision.

Island Def Jam is a unit of Vivendi/Universal. Yesterday, Vivendi’s chairman Doug Morris announced a price cutting initiative, reducing the amount of CD’s starting as early as October 1st.

Titles that are retailing for $16.98 and $18.98 will be dropped to $12.98, in an effort to jump start the stagnant sales of CD’s.

“We strongly believe that when the prices are dramatically reduced on so many titles, we will drive consumers back to stores and significantly bolster music sales,” Morris said in a statement

Source: All Hip Hop