- A new statement by the Chicago label blames Casablanca Media Publishing, its former joint venture partner, for failing to pay Trax artists.
House music label Trax Records published a statement this week in response to widespread allegations of false ownership of music copyrights and failure to pay royalties to its artists.
The label said it has not received any revenues generated by any exploitation of artists’ music, according to its new statement. Several veteran producers, including Adonis, Larry Heard and Robert Owens, have accused Trax of refusing to pay royalties and wrongfully claiming copyright for several of their tracks.
Casablanca Media Publishing, a Toronto-based company, has exploited the label’s catalogue "for years," Trax's statement said. "We had no real control of the company until January 1st 2022," Rachael Cain, current owner and president of Trax, wrote in the statement. Casablanca Media Publishing formed a joint venture with Trax in the early 2000s but then sued the label before forcibly acquiring all publishing and master recording assets.
"We had no money to protect ourselves," Cain said in Trax's statement. Cain and the widow of Trax cofounder Larry Sherman—who passed away in 2020—have now "set up the systems to start paying royalties," the statement continued. No further details about that process are given.
Claims of artist exploitation and unpaid royalties have weighed on Trax's reputation for years. Last month, Larry Heard and Robert Owens finally regained ownership of their early recordings such as "Can You Feel It" and "Bring Down The Walls" following the conclusion of their lawsuit against Trax.
Read Trax's full statement below.