#freekesha
January 24, 2016 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Wondering why pop star Kesha (or Ke$ha) hasn't produced any new music since 2013? Sony refuses to release her from her contract, which bars her from producing music with anyone else but producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, until she's made eight more records. So why is she refusing to work with Dr. Luke? Because, she alleges, he coerced her into drinking and taking drugs and sexually assaulted her when she was just 18, and his ongoing abuse led her to develop an eating disorder. Sony has called the allegations a "transparent and misguided attempt to renegotiate her contracts."

Back in November, Kesha applied for an injunction to allow her to make music outside of her contract, saying "I physically cannot [work with Dr Luke]. I don’t feel safe in any way." The hearing for that request is on Tuesday, January 26. At the hearing, fans and supporters will protest outside the New York State Supreme Courthouse.
posted by showbiz_liz (141 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
 
(I hadn't heard a single word about this whole situation until I ran across a Tumblr post about it.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:05 AM on January 24, 2016


On social media, she's understandably tight-lipped but optimistic. She also recently performed at a Nashville bar with a group called Yeast Infection.
posted by landunderwave at 9:14 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've heard bits an pieces of this situation over the past year, but haven't had all the parts put together like this. I don't get why Sony are fighting this. I have to think they have enough lawyers to find a way out of the contract, kick Dr. Luke to the curb and get on with recording.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:15 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Removed a link to an active petition site that added no information to the post; left the wording intact.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:18 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't get why Sony are fighting this. I have to think they have enough lawyers to find a way out of the contract, kick Dr. Luke to the curb and get on with recording.

He's worth more money to them than she is.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:18 AM on January 24, 2016 [33 favorites]


just think of the music the industry must have shelved /50s/60s..dumb industry run by rich assholes..
posted by brainimplant at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't get why Sony are fighting this.

Money.
posted by pharm at 9:19 AM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Haven't, like several other female pop stars gotten caught in similar Kafkaesque nightmares with producers that turned out to be nasty predators (ultimately fueling several very public meltdowns)?

How does the industry not acknowledge that this is a problem?

Moreover, how is the music industry even still a thing, given that I don't think you'd find a soul that would argue that it is anything other than 100% toxic to all parties involved...
posted by schmod at 9:20 AM on January 24, 2016 [16 favorites]


Sony is fighting this because they are already universally-reviled. They have nothing to lose in terms of public image.

To borrow a quote from another Very Terrible Person, they could start shooting people, and it wouldn't change their image one bit.
posted by schmod at 9:21 AM on January 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


Moreover, how is the music industry even still a thing

I have no idea, I've been trying to kill it with home taping for years now and it just won't die.

Remember when musicians had a union? I mean a strong one that wouldn't stand for shit like this? In what other profession can you essentially be legally tied to a company for eight albums, which is like a decade at the very least, unable to leave even in the face of workplace abuse and harassment?
posted by Jimbob at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2016 [53 favorites]


Meanwhile, last week it became clear that a well-known music publicist is a serial sexual abuser. (The article says "sexual harassment," but I would say the conduct he's accused of is actually sexual assault.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:30 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah I really think we should ban indentured servitude all the way. In the military, music industry and elsewhere. You really should not be able to legally sign away your right to leave a job.
posted by xarnop at 9:34 AM on January 24, 2016 [68 favorites]


which bars her from producing music with anyone else but producer Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald

That in and of itself seems abusive to me; if she had to stay with Sony that would be one thing, but forced into being produced by the same person is highly squicky, even without the abuse allegations, which of course turn the whole situation nuclear.
posted by chavenet at 9:35 AM on January 24, 2016 [45 favorites]


I was aghast when I first read about this in John Seabrook's The Song Factory, because Seabrook was so brutally, patronizingly dismissive of Kesha's side of the story -- like, it plainly wasn't even something he was willing to entertain, that such a nice man would rape or even insult a woman. (He was similarly mocking about her accusations that Dr. Luke's complaints about her body had pushed her into an eating disorder, reducing these complaints to a single remark which Seabrook happened to find unbelievable, and which he presented as the sole foundation of that side of her case.)

It was a tooth-grindy book from the beginning, but I was sticking with it because it was informative. Now I wish I'd quit; I'm not sure Seabrook and I agree about what information is.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:38 AM on January 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


How does the industry not acknowledge that this is a problem?

Money.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:38 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


This ought to put paid to the idea that the majors aren't as evil as they were back when their dominance was uncontested and universal. A shifting market has done nothing to reform them.
posted by Dysk at 9:42 AM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't get why Sony are fighting this.

Money.

if she won't record with luke, just how much money do they think they're going to make out of nothing? - the abuse issues aside, this is an appalling contract

if they decided that luke was no longer the "magic producer", they'd find a way for her to drop him in a heartbeat

of course, they may have just decided they can get anyone to sing songs with dr luke and she's disposable

meanwhile, although the record companies can often veto a choice, rock and roll bands are choosing their own producers, including themselves, all the time
posted by pyramid termite at 9:42 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aagggh I can't stop: it wasn't just that Seabrook's account was strongly biased against the accuser; it was that he openly argued against her, at length, tackling each part of the accusation ("Why did she continue to work with him for awhile if he was so abusive? Why didn't her mother call the police?") as if he were prosecuting her for libel in criminal court.

(Heard about the book originally from the article linked in this thread.)
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:44 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


meanwhile, although the record companies can often veto a choice, rock and roll bands are choosing their own producers, including themselves, all the time

This is far from universally true, even for small fry on indie labels.
posted by Dysk at 9:44 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


She should just create a bunch of horribly awful albums, give them to sony and tell them to go fuck themselves. It's been done before.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:45 AM on January 24, 2016 [17 favorites]


It was a tooth-grindy book from the beginning

Agreed 100% and I haven't even gotten to the part you're talking about. I'm at the part where Seabrook's drooling over Katy Perry's chest.
posted by Beardman at 9:45 AM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


of course, they may have just decided they can get anyone to sing songs with dr luke and she's disposable

That'd be my take on this -- the songwriting industry is absolutely built around the idea that the singers are disposable, but the people who write the songs are permanent institutions. There's even a gendered sub-hierarchy among the songwriters: beatmakers are mostly male and salaried; the people who write the melody lines are mostly female and paid only if the song sells to an artist.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2016 [44 favorites]


She should just create a bunch of horribly awful albums, give them to sony and tell them to go fuck themselves. It's been done before.
Did you miss the bit where she would have to make those horribly awful albums with a guy who sexually assaulted her?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2016 [82 favorites]


Money.

if she won't record with luke, just how much money do they think they're going to make out of nothing? - the abuse issues aside, this is an appalling contract


If she can get out of her contract, then who else can get of their contract and hello lost money. Loss of control is associated with loss of money and try explaining that to shareholders.

Yes, it's evil.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Haven't, like several other female pop stars gotten caught in similar Kafkaesque nightmares with producers that turned out to be nasty predators (ultimately fueling several very public meltdowns)?

Jojo is another recent example.
posted by mikek at 9:48 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


She should just create a bunch of horribly awful albums, give them to sony and tell them to go fuck themselves. It's been done before.

She would still, by her contract, have to make those albums with her alleged rapist, though.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:48 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


of course, they may have just decided they can get anyone to sing songs with dr luke and she's disposable

They already have. Ke$ha is far from his first pop star or his last. He is one of the biggest hit-makers in the industry.

One of the side-effects of constructing the industry in this factory-farm way is that the producers making hits are extremely powerful, while the artists themselves are nigh-interchangeable.
posted by schroedinger at 9:50 AM on January 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


"She should just create a bunch of horribly awful albums, give them to sony and tell them to go fuck themselves. It's been done before." I'm guessing this might be a bit of a joke, but I will say I'm really proud of her for doing this head on. It SHOULDN'T fall onto her shoulders to stand up to them and what she will be put through in this is wrong-- she should have a lot of people getting her back and joining her in this because it's not just her this is being done to, these assholes have essentially highjacked and ruined the way in which human beings participate in music which should in my opinion be a welcoming organic experience in which there is less of a line between "audience" and "performer" and more like a thing people do and join in however they like, playing music, dancing, clapping, singing, young and old, rhythmically challenged and not, able bodies and less.... all celebrating participating in the joy and the heart changing experience of music as they are.

Everyone is welcome. That some people "aren't good enough" to make music is a lie. That some people need to be altered to be good enough is a lie. Too many of us have bought that lie.

Fewer people dance, fewer all ages family gatherings features inclusive singing and dancing without a bunch of judgement and ostracizing of people for how they look or sound or dance.

She is doing a heroic thing and I'm proud of her. We need more to stand up to them and to form better ways of doing music as communities.
posted by xarnop at 9:51 AM on January 24, 2016 [41 favorites]


Also, not that a smaller number would really lessen the horror of all this, but even for contracts that don't ask you to work with the man you allege as your rapist, EIGHT ALBUMS is a goddamned lot of albums. That's basically Sony saying they own your whole career unless you are ludicrously, improbably successful over a very extended period of time.
posted by chrominance at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


not only does she have to convince her rapist to help her make a bunch of crap albums, they likely don't count against her contract unless sony accepts them. i also think dr. luke said he wouldn't work with her until she recanted her allegations. there's no "just" about any of her choices.

i fear we'll be adding her to the mountain of women whose input into culture we've lost too soon because of abusive men who are in control. and she has a remarkable talent.
posted by nadawi at 10:00 AM on January 24, 2016 [50 favorites]


Foci for Analysis: "She should just create a bunch of horribly awful albums, give them to sony and tell them to go fuck themselves."

Skip the first part, just tell Sony to go fuck themselves.
posted by chavenet at 10:01 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, last week it became clear that a well-known music publicist is a serial sexual abuser. (The article says "sexual harassment," but I would say the conduct he's accused of is actually sexual assault.)

for whatever reason a lot of the reporting is omitting many accusations. caitlyn white's roundup and original reporting is a good place to see all of it. some of the conduct he's accused of is straight up rape. but, of course, to him a lot of his supporters, the real tragedy is that he lost his wife over this.
posted by nadawi at 10:04 AM on January 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is similar to the reason Poe hasn't released anything since the brilliant _Haunted_ in 2000. After a label mergers left her in limbo, her contract was sold and she says, "My entire life was suddenly under the control of a very powerful man whom I didn't know, and who didn't [seem to] mean well. It was a horror story from which I am just beginning to recover."

There are parts of the music industry that simply can't die fast enough.
posted by jburka at 10:04 AM on January 24, 2016 [45 favorites]


Wasn't there a major legal case about just this sort of thing that ended the studio system of filmmaking? Or was the end of long-term contracts just an incidental side-effect of the antitrust stuff?

i also think dr. luke said he wouldn't work with her until she recanted her allegations.

Well, there's her out, then, surely. Unless he wins a libel suit, it seems all Kesha has to do is point to that statement and shrug, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:05 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I get the contract thing from the labels' perspective. Record labels pour a bunch of money into "developing" an artist, and they don't want to see that artist walk out and sign a more lucrative contract with a rival label after their first taste of success. The "hostage" situations where an artist ends up being unable to work at all are the ugly side of that. A naive new artist might think that a 10-album contract guarantees them 10 albums, but it's not like that at all.

The abuse allegations are something else altogether; needless to say abuse is a bad thing whether or not the people involved are bound by a contract. If the allegations are true, I hope that truth comes out. If they're false, the end of the Hollywood Reporter article makes a good point:

As long as she continues to stand by her false claims of abuse against Dr. Luke and remains in breach of her contracts, he will continue to protect his professional and personal reputation, as well as his contractual rights, in a court of law. He looks forward to obtaining judgments in his favor.
posted by mantecol at 10:07 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, there's her out, then, surely.

how is it her out? she can't get out of her contract without recording the albums. she can't work w/ dr luke because he's her rapist and he won't work with her unless she stops accusing him of rape. that's why she's stuck.


the end of the Hollywood Reporter article makes a good point:

...you mean the statement by his spokesperson? that's not a good point, that's a smear campaign and a threat.
posted by nadawi at 10:14 AM on January 24, 2016 [41 favorites]


I still don't get it from Sony's perspective. Her complaint is only about the producer - not about Sony. So could't Sony just move another producer in get their eight albums, and move on. There must be other work they can find for dr. luke, if he is so great. Seems like win/win from Sony's standpoint. Instead they have no music, a bunch of ill will and a court battle.
posted by rtimmel at 10:17 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's particularly difficult for this kind of artist to exist outside of a studio system. You don't throw down dollars to see a Ke$ha concert for musicality. It's about theatricality, and that means big shows. And you can't do big shows without big marketing support.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:19 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Presumably if they get another producer in Gottwald then gets to sue them.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is similar to the reason Poe hasn't released anything since the brilliant _Haunted_ in 2000.

I didn't know that. That's maddening, especially since Mark Z. Danielewski has been incredibly prolific since then; he just released volume 1 of a planned 27-book cycle. I don't begrudge him that, of course -- I just mean that we can track the work of the brother and sister, who back in 2000 were on parallel tracks, working on related projects and experiencing similar success, and see his career continue and hers...just...stop.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2016 [15 favorites]


they don't care about kesha or her music. they care about other contract disputes. from sony's position, if she is allowed any movement on her contract there will be a lot of other people, past present and future, who will want deals that are better weighted towards the artist. sony absolutely doesn't want that to happen. i would also bet that dr. luke has told them if they let her use another producer, he won't worth them any more since it will give some credence to her allegations. kesha is completely expendable to them and they'll use her to teach a lesson to anyone else in a similar situation.
posted by nadawi at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2016 [40 favorites]


Men have been extorting women in this way forever. Say he didn't rape you, or we'll fire you/lock you in a mental hospital/take away your children/put you in prison/etc. Sony wants to spend no money on this, and they want the reputation of their top producer unblemeshed. And they want to send a message to any other women out there who are victims of rape by one of their people, because they can.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2016 [61 favorites]


So could't Sony just move another producer in get their eight albums, and move on.

They could. But being the magnanimous man that he is, Mr Gottwald might throw a hissy at his indentured servant being allowed to leave, and he's the one Sony is really eager to please and hang on to.
posted by Dysk at 10:22 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who knew that all you need to defeat a high paid team of industry lawyers is a few flimsy theories floated by people who have never actually read Ke$ha's contract?
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2016 [81 favorites]


Wasn't there a major legal case about just this sort of thing that ended the studio system of filmmaking? Or was the end of long-term contracts just an incidental side-effect of the antitrust stuff?
Do you mean in the 1950s? I think that was about a specific aspect of studio contracts that basically allowed the studios to extend actors' contracts forever if they wanted to. Basically, they signed you to a seven year contract, but that didn't mean seven calendar years. That meant 7 X 365 days of actual work. If you took a day off, it got added to your contract. If they didn't have any work for you, then the time when you weren't working got added to your contract. So if they didn't want you ever to be able to work again for anyone, then they just never gave you any work and your contract never ended. You couldn't work for anyone else because you were still under contract to the studio. And if they said "you'll do this movie or nothing," then you had to do that movie, or you would never get out of your contract and be able to work for anyone else. The courts ruled that seven years had to mean seven calendar years, which took a lot of the power away from the studios. But it didn't do anything about this situation, because ten albums still means ten albums. It's an exploitative contract, but I don't think it's an illegal one.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:30 AM on January 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Unless the court is ignoring good evidence of bad behavior, the system is working here. Kesha shouldn't be able to get out of the contract without proof, and shouldn't be held to the contract, or at least the part requiring she work with someone who assaulted her, if she has proof.

Contracts like this need to be enforceable as a general matter, because the engineered-pop-singer industry ventures millions on every start-up artist and only can do so if it can get multiple albums at a reasonable price out of the few singers who actually get hits out of the box. No contracts like this one, no singers like Kesha to begin with.

The one thing the court is not supposed to care about is Sony's relationship with Dr. Luke. If Kesha has good evidence of his misconduct, and Dr. Luke won't let Sony modify the contract so Kesha doesn't have to work with him, that's Sony's problem, not Dr. Luke's.
posted by MattD at 10:43 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whats missing from the links explaining the situation is a piece of evidence that made me stop following this bullshit:

Kesha Denied Dr. Luke Made Sexual Advances in 2011 Deposition


So basically, this isn't about crimes, human rights, or anything important. This is just two assholes arguing about a contract.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


So what if he did assault her but she doesn't have a proof? In your book, a working system involves a situation in which a woman is raped, her rapist gets off scott free, and she is punished by having her career ended?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


Sony changed approximately when Morita left; maybe because he left, maybe he left because of the change, but change it did and very much for the worse.

There are all kinds of stories out there about Yakuza involvement in pop music in Japan, and this mess will do nothing to make those stories less credible -- in other words, it isn't always just about the money.
posted by jamjam at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2016


a working system involves a situation in which a woman is raped, her rapist gets off scott free, and she is punished by having her career ended?

well, sadly, that is the system working as designed...
posted by nadawi at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Whats missing from the links explaining the situation is a piece of evidence that made me stop following this bullshit:

Kesha Denied Dr. Luke Made Sexual Advances in 2011 Deposition


So when she says he didn't do it, that's evidence, and when she says he did, that's a lie?
posted by Dysk at 10:58 AM on January 24, 2016 [103 favorites]


She also states that she was pressured into denying the allegations, which isn't exactly difficult to believe.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:09 AM on January 24, 2016 [65 favorites]


The fact that right now in 2016 men still think women would put themselves through the unbearable fucking hell of making a public rape accusation just to get out of doing something they don't feel like doing is fucking incredible, appalling, disgusting, pathetic. I don't even have enough repulsive words to describe it. It is literally because of smug sneering men like you that women are afraid to come forward. You are actively making the lives of countless women worse.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:21 AM on January 24, 2016 [221 favorites]


Unless the court is ignoring good evidence of bad behavior, the system is working here. Kesha shouldn't be able to get out of the contract without proof....

You're right, the system is working: Another woman finds herself accused of making up allegations of repeated sexual and verbal abuse against a man who had all the power in the relationship (like, even contractually) and is told to "prove" it and is told that if she can't "prove" it, well, sucks to be her.

The system is indeed working fine. It's just that the system is horribly broken and actively harmful to women -- all women, but particularly women who have been victims of abuse.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:34 AM on January 24, 2016 [30 favorites]


how is it her out? she can't get out of her contract without recording the albums. she can't work w/ dr luke because he's her rapist and he won't work with her unless she stops accusing him of rape. that's why she's stuck.


I haven't read the contract, and decisions in these cases are generally very fact-specific, but if one party to a contract renders performance impossible, the other party is usually not liable for breach. If I contract to repair your ski-lift, but you refuse to let me into the resort to access it, I am not in breach for failing to fix the lift.

(This assumes that Dr. Luke is acting as an agent of Sony or is a party to the contract. As I said, very fact-specific.)
posted by praemunire at 11:37 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


So when she says he didn't do it, that's evidence, and when she says he did, that's a lie?

Yes. It was a deposition. Perjury is a thing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:37 AM on January 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Remember when musicians had a union? I mean a strong one that wouldn't stand for shit like this?

Well, no, actually - the American Federation of Musicians has a long history of being even more hidebound and clueless than record labels. They hated motion pictures with sound, they hated recordings, they really hated rock and roll, fought against all of them as long as they could, and to this day they still make it difficult and expensive for foreign bands to play the US (previously and previously) - apparently they refuse to believe that a group of musicians can combine their unique talents to create something unique and greater than the sum of its parts . . . . . 60 years after they gave the Beatles a hard time about the same thing (Google news archive - pull quote from the then head of the AFM, "We can go to Yonkers or Tennessee and pick up four kids who can do this kind of stuff".) The idea of an artist like Kesha getting help from the AFM was laughable before she was born. Benny Goodman was probably the last person to get one-on-one help from the AFM in a contract dispute.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:41 AM on January 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


So if they didn't want you ever to be able to work again for anyone, then they just never gave you any work and your contract never ended. You couldn't work for anyone else because you were still under contract to the studio. And if they said "you'll do this movie or nothing," then you had to do that movie, or you would never get out of your contract and be able to work for anyone else.

Isn't that exactly what this is, though? Surely the spirit of that ruling (if indeed it was one) is that shit like this shouldn't happen, regardless of the particular screws that are turned to make it happen.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:41 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes. It was a deposition. Perjury is a thing.

They're both evidence. If she came into court now and testified that he assaulted her, the opposing side would undoubtedly attempt to impeach her with her prior statements under oath, but a jury (or a judge) would still be free to believe her later statement.

Perjury may be a thing, but people contradict their deposition testimony all the time, and sometimes there is a good reason for it.
posted by praemunire at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2016 [26 favorites]


Yes. It was a deposition. Perjury is a thing.

Right, which is precisely why her previous statements might not be true. After all, if it were literally impossible to lie under oath, perjury would not be a thing.
posted by Dysk at 11:47 AM on January 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


It is literally because of smug sneering men like you that women are afraid to come forward. You are actively making the lives of countless women worse.

Holy wow, to whom is this in reply? hal_c_on's observation that Kesha said the opposite of her current allegations while under oath in a deposition? That's a fact salient to any conversation about this, no matter how one reads the whole situation. (n.b.: I strongly support Kesha in her struggle here, and do believe she suffered the assault she claims.)

I haven't read anything in this thread that warrants the strength of that language, not a single comment that is smug or sneering, and certainly nothing that qualifies as "actively making the lives of countless women worse."

Perjury may be a thing, but people contradict their deposition testimony all the time, and sometimes there is a good reason for it.

Yes, which is why it's salient to bring up and discuss. Unless poffin boffin's extreme characterization can be justified, this conversation has been poisoned and shut down, because wow that is a really serious accusation about another commenter's character.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:50 AM on January 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


I thought it was a completely reasonable response to a smug, sneering comment saying that she is an asshole making up rape accusations to get out of her contract, and characterizing that comment as merely an "observation" of anything is pretty weird reading.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:53 AM on January 24, 2016 [59 favorites]


It wasn't hal_c_on's bringing up of previous statements so much as his insistence that this proved that this was all clearly bullshit and just an asshole arguing about a contract (because no woman has ever been coerced into saying anything untruthful, ever).
posted by Dysk at 11:53 AM on January 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


Surely the spirit of that ruling (if indeed it was one) is that shit like this shouldn't happen, regardless of the particular screws that are turned to make it happen.
I am not a lawyer, but I have google, so I have a (possibly totally wrong!) answer. It looks like the ruling interpreted a section of California employment law that limits contracts to 7 years. So one issue is that not all music contracts are governed by California law, although in practice most are. The bigger issue is that the music industry lobbied to get an exception written into the law, so musicians' contracts are exempted from the 7-year limit. You'd have to change the law, and it's not clear that artists have the influence to get that done.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:53 AM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The fact that right now in 2016 men still think women would put themselves through the unbearable fucking hell of making a public rape accusation just to get out of doing something they don't feel like doing is fucking incredible, appalling, disgusting, pathetic.

The criminal defense attorney shakes their head and sighs.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 11:56 AM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


[Rape, and the treatment of rape victims in the legal system, are very difficult topics and the discussion here is getting a little heated. Let's be respectful -- and try to avoid vague, snide responses to other comments. Please try to keep is cool in here.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:04 PM on January 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


> Yes. It was a deposition. Perjury is a thing.

It's fascinating to me that there's this convenient assumption at work that if a woman denies under oath that a a man sexually assaulted her, well, obviously that must be the truth because perjury is...a thing! But if she makes a sworn statement to police or testifies on the stand that a man did sexually assault her, well, obviously that could be a lie because....somethingsomethingsomething.
posted by rtha at 12:08 PM on January 24, 2016 [81 favorites]


I guess that what I don't understand is how anyone could think that this system was working. I get that some people may not believe that this particular allegation has been proven. But it's notoriously difficult to prove rape. So let's say that a woman, not this particular one, had a contract like this and was raped by a man with whom her contract obligated her to work. Let's say that, like most survivors of rape, she couldn't prove that she was raped. Are you really comfortable with a system that says that she has no recourse other than to not have a music career ever again? Can you understand why many women would not feel that to be an acceptable system?

There's no reason that victims have to be women, for what it's worth. I think there have been similar allegations about at least one boy-band Svengali.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:09 PM on January 24, 2016 [24 favorites]


[Some comments deleted. Let's try to be back on topic and not insulting other posters or arguing about how other posters expressed themselves; take that to the contact form or MetaTalk. Thanks.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:11 PM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey hal_c_on. It's worthwhile to point out evidence from the other side in my view and personal attacks on another Mefi are never okay. But you should keep in mind you are going too far if you think people who have been assaulted will never deny it under duress or pressure. The deposition is a part of the puzzle, but not necessarily the whole picture.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:13 PM on January 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


I am not a lawyer, but I have google, so I have a (possibly totally wrong!) answer. It looks like the ruling interpreted a section of California employment law that limits contracts to 7 years. So one issue is that not all music contracts are governed by California law, although in practice most are. The bigger issue is that the music industry lobbied to get an exception written into the law, so musicians' contracts are exempted from the 7-year limit. You'd have to change the law, and it's not clear that artists have the influence to get that done.

I am a lawyer and have no idea whether the above would be relevant or not, but I do know that part of what's been dragging this out for so long was Sony/Rapist moving the venue from California to New York.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Moreover, how is the music industry even still a thing, given that I don't think you'd find a soul that would argue that it is anything other than 100% toxic to all parties involved...

No, you’ll find a bunch of armchair quarterbacks on the internet who would characterize it that way.

There’s good and bad, no different than any other business in the world, and not nearly the level of bullshit as the film industry, which seems to always get a pass because for some reason said quarterbacks realize it takes a lot of people working together to make their favorite film, but music artist are magic fairies being kept down by The Man.
posted by bongo_x at 12:51 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Contracts like this need to be enforceable as a general matter, because the engineered-pop-singer industry ventures millions on every start-up artist and only can do so if it can get multiple albums at a reasonable price out of the few singers who actually get hits out of the box. No contracts like this one, no singers like Kesha to begin with.

No. Music industry contracts are notoriously onerous and one-sided and built to create indentured servitude situations. There are a million ways for the industry to secure ROI that aren't this.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's fascinating to me that there's this convenient assumption at work that if a woman denies under oath that a a man sexually assaulted her, well, obviously that must be the truth because perjury is...a thing! But if she makes a sworn statement to police or testifies on the stand that a man did sexually assault her, well, obviously that could be a lie because....somethingsomethingsomething.

It makes sense if you think that accusations of sexual assault are merely tools by which women gain power over men. Those claims then become "self-interested," and untrustworthy, whereas denials of assault are "contrary to her interest," and should be believed. Because, you know, most women's lives improve DRAMATICALLY when they accuse someone of rape. Especially someone in a position of power over them.
posted by praemunire at 12:58 PM on January 24, 2016 [25 favorites]


locking any artist into an 8-record exclusive deal with one producer is atrocious even without any further wrongdoing
posted by thelonius at 1:04 PM on January 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


The article doesn't do a very good job of explaining what Sony's role is. It looks a little more complicated than "Sony won't release Kesha from her contract," although that may be happening, too.

But at least in the article, it seems like Sony are objecting to Kesha's claims against them, which are that they were responsible for enabling Dr. Luke's behavior. However, in an earlier statement, Kesha claims that Dr. Luke intimidated her into silence. On that matter, Sony's position seems to be that it isn't fair to claim they enabled his abusive behavior, since she admits that they weren't aware of it. Here's the relevant bit:
After Kesha sued Dr. Luke, she amended her claims to include the charge that Sony supported and ratified his behavior. She alleges that the music giant puts female artists "in physical danger by giving Dr. Luke full creative and business control."
Sony and Kemosabe are demanding the dismissal of such claims, echoing Dr. Luke by calling it a "transparent and misguided attempt to renegotiate her contracts."
In its papers, besides arguing that her claims provide no basis for corporate liability and would be time-barred nonetheless, Sony points to Kesha's admission that Dr. Luke allegedly bullied her into silence.
"This admission — that Sebert never spoke of or reported the alleged misconduct — is fatal to each and every one of her claims against Sony and Kemosabe Records," argues the dismissal motion. "In short, Sebert cannot have it both ways: She cannot claim that Gottwald intimidated her into silence, then — as an apparent afterthought — seek to hold Sony and Kemosabe Records liable for failing to act on conduct that she did not report."
A couple non-mitigating factors bear mentioning. Earlier in the article, it says that Kemosabe Records is "housed under Sony" (whatever that means), but I don't know how much authority that gives Sony in the situation of Kesha's contract. And of course it's pretty rotten that they are echoing Kemosabe and Dr. Luke's claims that this is a transparent attempt by Kesha to get out of her contract.

I'm not sure if my interpretation is correct, because a lot of these stories are worded very vaguely when they discuss the legal and contractual aspects. It sounds like the reporters might be a little fuzzy on the details, too.
posted by Edgewise at 2:13 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If this is the place to bring up Heathcliff Berru, also on the tail of that this dude.
posted by atoxyl at 2:14 PM on January 24, 2016


(there are some fairly graphic details in that btw sorry)
posted by atoxyl at 2:23 PM on January 24, 2016


Earlier in the article, it says that Kemosabe Records is "housed under Sony" (whatever that means), but I don't know how much authority that gives Sony in the situation of Kesha's contract.

A quick Google tells me that Kemosabe Records is owned by Sony:
In November 2011, Sony Music Entertainment partnered with Dr. Luke to create Kemosabe Records.[1] The company releases records with Sony Music Entertainment.[2] Łukasz Gottwald will be able to hire his own staff, sign artists, and develop talent, but he’ll only be able to produce records for Sony artists for the next five years.[3] The deal gives Sony exclusive rights to Dr. Luke’s services as a producer for five years.[4]
posted by palomar at 2:52 PM on January 24, 2016


As a general rule, everyone, please strike the words "She should just" from any sentence referring to a woman dealing with a sexual harassment/assault situation.

There is no easy, pain-free way to deal with such problems, much as we would like there to be, for reasons we've talked about endlessly here.

In this case, rape culture is twisted up with an exploitative contract situation in a way that should horrify anybody, even if you choose to disbelieve Ke$ha's charges. If rape weren't so common in this society/her industry it wouldn't seem so likely to be true; if record labels didn't screw over the artists so badly, it wouldn't even be possible for this situation to occur. But here we are. We live in a culture in which it's entirely possible that a legally binding contract can force a woman to work with her rapist or else lose her livelihood. That should bother you. That should be stopped.

As it is, given the extremely low rate of false accusations, and high rate of unreported assaults, I find it more logical to believe women who say they were raped and assaulted. Not more comfortable, but more logical.
posted by emjaybee at 3:10 PM on January 24, 2016 [57 favorites]


until she's made eight more records

So the original contract must have covered 10 records. It seems like most performers don't even last long enough to reach that milestone. For those that do, it must still take a long, long time. It seems unfair that a performer could sign a contract that will almost certainly cover her entire career. I know its just a rich person's problem but it still doesn't seem right.

For comparison, I went to Wikipedia to see how many years it took some performers to release their 10th studio album. Unless you are freakishly productive like Bowie or Prince, it takes a long time!

Janet Jackson
Self-titled (1982) - Discipline (2008).
26 years.

Madonna
Self-titled (1983) - Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005).
22 years.

U2
Boy (1980) - All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000).
20 years.

REM
Murmur (1983) - New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996).
13 years.

Prince
For You (1978) - Lovesexy (1988).
10 years.

David Bowie
David Bowie (1967) - Station to Station (1976).
9 years.
posted by great_radio at 4:04 PM on January 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


neither bowie or prince were freakishly productive - back in their time, it was pretty much expected that an artist was going to do about an album a year

times have changed, but for people who are just coming into the business, the contracts haven't - i seriously doubt they'd even let kesha do an album a year - i seriously doubt they think she'll ever do 8 more albums

but they'll hold it over her head anyway

it truly is a rotten business
posted by pyramid termite at 4:14 PM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's true that Lou Reed released Metal Machine Music, a double album of screeching noises that got him out of the requirement for two more records with RCA. I understand, however, that the labels have since closed that loophole, and standard record contracts now have a clause that allows the label to reject recordings which they view as substandard.
posted by w0mbat at 4:15 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who was on her side that thought it was a good idea to lock into one producer for 10 albums?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:45 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Contracts like this need to be enforceable as a general matter, because the engineered-pop-singer industry ventures millions on every start-up artist

Yeah, thank God the system is designed to protect the vulnerable party here, right? I mean who knows what would happen if we started prioritizing the needs of assault survivors over the needs of multi-billion-dollar corporations.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:49 PM on January 24, 2016 [24 favorites]


[If you're trying to figure out if a comment is okay, dooming it by saddling it with metacommentary about whether or not it'll be deleted is not helping.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:25 PM on January 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Contracts like this need to be enforceable as a general matter, because the engineered-pop-singer industry ventures millions on every start-up artist"

I don't think forced labor is ever ok. Companies train people with skills all the time and might request an employee agree to stay but literally binding them to the job with the force of the law seems like abuse. Companies should rearrange their models to deal with the fact that it's not ethical to force people to work for you, therefore they need to rearrange how much they invest and in what way such they can deal with people leaving.
posted by xarnop at 5:47 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yup. And realistically, if this guy actually was innocent, would he honestly want to work with her again after all this? Seriously? C'mon. He'd want to get as far away from her as possible.

Sony wanting to enforce this contract--and producer-douche not speaking up to sever his end of it--is like the skeeviest thing ever. That's some creepy abuser-control bullshit going on. It's only that much more damning on top of the accusations already in play.

Seems like there's a lot of people here who deserve a nice, warm spot under a bus, and none of them are Ke$ha.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:57 PM on January 24, 2016 [21 favorites]


Who was on her side that thought it was a good idea to lock into one producer for 10 albums?

Presumably, people "on her side" who just wanted to get a quick, big payout and didn't give a shit about her or her work. There are so many layers to how she has been taken advantage of in this situation. Truly nauseating.

Also, some comments in this thread are quite disappointing. Women deny sexual assault while under oath all the time because they are pressured and intimidated into doing so. "Perjury is a thing," well, perjury under duress is a thing, too. In this particular situation, she is basically torpedo'ing her entire career by coming forward. Talk about negative consequences, this story has pretty much all of them that I can imagine.
posted by naju at 5:58 PM on January 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


Buddy Holly trying to get around contracts. Sad.

Same old, same old.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:58 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Who was on her side that thought it was a good idea to lock into one producer for 10 albums?

The same people who negotiate the contracts for every other pop-machine star out there? You give them a contract, a pretty face, and a voice they can autotune, they give you fame and wild amounts of money. If you are realistic, you probably expect to be able to ride the gravy train for 5-6 years and then retire with a ridiculous bank account. I can see why an aspiring young star would think it was a good deal--especially since everyone else seems to be doing it and these horror stories aren't making the news. Then by the time you realize it's a trap it's too late.
posted by schroedinger at 6:00 PM on January 24, 2016


If Sony doesn't fight this, they have to admit that they believe her *and* then will be forced to get rid of him in the aftermath.
posted by Catbunny at 6:09 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sony could find a new producer and come out and say they've recognized that the two have irreconcilable differences regardless of the truth of the allegations. Again, I don't see how anyone reasonably expects two people to work together once one has publicly accused the other of rape.

I mean, except for the giant influence of rape culture, I guess.

But honestly, how many people really care who this dude is? I'd never have heard of him but for Ke$ha and this case in particular. This could've been easily and quietly dealt with if Sony had given a shit about doing the right thing--or even something in a neighborhood adjacent to the right thing.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:26 PM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just want to light a match and watch this whole shitty system burn. What the fuck is wrong with Sony, and what the fuck is wrong with people who think this is in any way okay?
posted by corb at 6:41 PM on January 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


But honestly, how many people really care who this dude is? I'd never have heard of him but for Ke$ha and this case in particular.
He's a producer and songwriter, and I promise you that you're familiar with some of the music he's written and/or produced. He wrote Wrecking Ball for Miley Cyrus and a bunch of Katy Perry's big hits. Conventional wisdom is that writers and producers like Dr. Luke are the real talents in pop music, and the people who sing the songs are pretty much interchangeable and disposable. Sony thinks they can find another Kesha. They don't think they can find another Dr. Luke.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:48 PM on January 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


So why don't they just cut their losses and let her go?
posted by Drinky Die at 6:54 PM on January 24, 2016


unfortunately dr. luke is a big shit deal - which is one reason among many why i believe kesha. motivations to stay silent and go along far outweigh any reasons to lie, specifically because who this producer is in the industry.
posted by nadawi at 6:56 PM on January 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


Because they are owed 8 more records. That's all the beancounters see. She leaves makes a record with someone else and that's money Sony won't have.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:57 PM on January 24, 2016


these huge labels sign people, develop them, have them make whole ass albums, and then shelve them just because they think it would compete with someone bigger on their roster. they probably don't care if they see another penny out of kesha - keeping these horrific contracts air tight is far more important to them than any albums she owes.
posted by nadawi at 7:01 PM on January 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


One of the crazy things about this is that Sony would probably make more money with a happy artist. Do everything the opposite of what they are doing now and potentially reap the rewards. Right now they are being totally vindictive and petty. What benefit is there from forcing two people who hate each other to work together?

And yes, I realize Sony can afford to do this to artists but holy fuck, it is cruel and juvenile.
posted by futz at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think they specifically want the combination of Kesha + big chart-topping hitmaker for those 8 albums. They negotiated that deal because that specific combination would make them a shitload of money for a long time. And they're proud that they made the deal back when Kesha had no bargaining chips. And they weren't wrong about all that. Anything other than insisting on the terms of the contract is not amenable to them, so they're not doing it.

Record contracts are Faustian bargains. Major labels are not your friends. Artists have no bargaining power, and even their own representatives aren't looking out for their best interests. When it comes right down to it, the label doesn't give a fuck about the artist's well-being or comfort, just whether they're churning out the hits and making everyone money. Combine all this with sexual assault where the perpetrator is one of the most powerful, influential cash cows in the entire industry, and everyone has a vested interest in not believing her. That's how you get to this mess.
posted by naju at 7:12 PM on January 24, 2016 [15 favorites]


Yup. Agreed naju.
posted by futz at 7:13 PM on January 24, 2016


Kesha's original complaint can be read here. (Apologies if this was linked already. I don't remember seeing it.) Read as a narrative, a fuller picture emerges. Some of the details make more sense than they do when they are pulled out of context.
posted by salvia at 7:15 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Reading this motion to dismiss [pdf] by Gottvald's attorneys, the main reason they'd want to have the lawsuit in NY instead of CA is a statute of limitations matter, especially re: intentional infliction of emotional distress (2 years in CA, one year in NY or TN).
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:20 PM on January 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't think much of her music, but boy I am impressed by her strength.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:26 PM on January 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you're interested, I found this article to be the best summary of the situation:

What Happened to Kesha?: A Timeline
posted by cell divide at 7:29 PM on January 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


^ That's a really good (and deeply horrifying) summary.

The "but she denied it earlier!" crowd should probably read it, for stuff like this:
“Dr. Luke repeatedly threatened that if she ever told anyone about these abusive incidents, he would destroy both Ms. Sebert and her entire family. Specifically, after he drugged and raped Ms. Sebert, Dr. Luke took her down to the beach alone to ‘have a talk’ with her. He threatened that if she ever mentioned the rape to anyone, he would shut her career down, take away all her publishing and recording rights, and otherwise destroy not only her life but her entire family’s lives as well. He also threatened her and her family’s physical safety. Ms. Sebert wholly believed that Dr. Luke had the power and money to carry out his threats; she therefore never dared talk about, let alone report, what Dr. Luke had done to her.”
posted by naju at 7:42 PM on January 24, 2016 [19 favorites]


Incidentally Kesha does write songs for herself and other people. I think she initially aspired to be something of a protege to Dr. Luke. That contract probably seemed like a surefire career move back then.
posted by atoxyl at 7:55 PM on January 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


You give them a contract, a pretty face, and a voice they can autotune, they give you fame and wild amounts of money. If you are realistic, you probably expect to be able to ride the gravy train for 5-6 years and then retire with a ridiculous bank account.
Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
You're gonna go far, you're gonna fly high,
You're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try; they're gonna love you.

Well, I've always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.
-Pink Floyd, Have A Cigar

In this case, the record industry is a lil maraschino turd on top of the shit sundae that is rape culture.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:53 PM on January 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
posted by phearlez at 7:21 AM on January 25, 2016


"Incidentally Kesha does write songs for herself and other people."

Yeah, I can give or take Kesha as a pop singer, but she's a really good pop writer.

It also seems fairly difficult for female songwriters to break in to songwriting without having first had a career has a singer/performer, while the same doesn't seem to apply to men, who can come up through the backstage system entirely as songwriters/producers/beatmakers. Women have to front their own performances for at least a few years to be taken seriously as writers. (And even then! It's so frustrating how many people don't realize Dolly Parton is a mad prolific songwriter (like 3,000 produced songs!), or scoff when you point out that Taylor Swift is a great performer, but an even better songwriter.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:23 AM on January 25, 2016 [23 favorites]


So the following comment is going to reveal a MAJOR SPOILER for the post-credits scene in the recent box office bomb Jem and the Holograms; you've been warned.





So after gender-swapped villian Erica Raymond (played by the usual heavyhanded style and grace of a 21st century Juliette Lewis) has been deposed as the head of Starlight Productions by Rio (Jem's love interest who is also Erica's son in this adaptation because of course...), Erica arrives at a weird junkyard underpass on a mission to find the Misfits, led, as always, by Pizzazz, played, delightfully by Kesha.

I found the movie not nearly as bad as basically everyone else whose seen it. But even the strongest haters must agree, if we were to get a Jem sequel where an adaptation of Kesha's story became Pizzazz's "evil motivated by anger at other's mainstream success" origin story*, I think we can all agree that the world would be a better place.

(* And also if Jem and the Holograms are barely in it.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The trial has been postponed until February 19th.
posted by landunderwave at 12:19 PM on January 25, 2016




my goodness to i love her voice. may we get to pay her again to enjoy it soon.
posted by nadawi at 5:48 PM on January 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tuesday 26 Jan 2016: Kesha won’t know the fate of her career until next month because of Storm Jonas -- The hearing now won’t take place until February 19 - Kesha confirmed the date change on Twitter.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 PM on January 29, 2016


Kesha's attorney, Mark Geragos, discussed the case in the podcast he does with Adam Carolla. The relevant talk is from about 21 minutes in to 45 minutes on episode 27. The gist is that if it goes to trial, Geragos is prepared to call as witnesses other woman who've had problems with Gottwald.

Geragos recorded that from the Compton court house during his lunch break from a criminal defense case. The podcast is worth listening to even if you don't like Adam Carolla. Interesting man, Mark Geragos.
posted by riruro at 4:01 PM on January 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


CRY$TAL WARRIOR KE$HA

(Porpentine Twine, contains some violence, also awesomeness)
posted by salix at 5:00 PM on January 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


A piece from last September: #FreedomForKesha Is an Important Stand Against Rape Culture
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on February 1, 2016


Small victory (hopefully a prelude to a larger victory): Dr. Luke's lawsuits against Kesha's mom and her manager have been tossed out.
posted by palomar at 9:53 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


kesha's in court today.
posted by nadawi at 8:40 AM on February 19, 2016


motion for preliminary injunction denied. sony says they've offered here to chance to record without dr. luke. her lawyer argues it's an "elusive promise" and sony is setting her up to fail. the judge disagrees that sony would tank her on purpose (which to me sounds like a judge that doesn't know anything about the music business...).

ugh.
posted by nadawi at 9:20 AM on February 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


I cannot believe this shit. And there are men who deny rape culture exists?

Just seeing her break down because they have now won the right to force her to work with her rapist is one of the ugliest fucking things I have seen in a while.
posted by Kitteh at 12:03 PM on February 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm sick reading about this. Absolutely disgusting and heartbreaking.

"There has been no showing of irreparable harm. She’s being given opportunity to record."

No showing of irreparable harm????

Burn it all (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
posted by like_neon at 12:19 PM on February 19, 2016 [7 favorites]






I hope there's an internet movement to boycott his work ... There is no artist I want to listen to badly enough to keep him in business. I'll miss some Katy Perry stuff, but not enough to keep it on my playlists until Kesha is out of this contract. Sony needs to know fans don't want a rapist to succeed, whatever Sony may want.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:33 PM on February 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


i've been really struggling with his involvement in nicki minaj's "the pinkprint" - especially "pills & potions" - and also struggling with kesha's career - like, do you avoid all of her work because of him? do you enjoy her work because of her? this is part of why it's so fucked up that sony is requiring she keeps earning for him. there's no way to support the victim and not support the perpetrator when their work is so entwined.
posted by nadawi at 5:55 PM on February 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


i really feel concerned for other young women who have worked with him tbh. disgusting predatory rapists like him never abuse just one person over whom they have power, never. i feel like if kesha's suit had been successful there would have been more women coming forward to say "yes, this is also something that happened to me" and now they're terrified that their lives and careers will also be throw to the fucking wolves.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:37 PM on February 19, 2016 [9 favorites]


this is about a preliminary injunction (something you get before all of the evidence is in or before a trial happens) so there is still a lot of law / trial / etc. to be done, as far as I can tell.

the reporting on this story has been uniformly terrible
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:42 PM on February 19, 2016 [2 favorites]




"this is about a preliminary injunction (something you get before all of the evidence is in or before a trial happens) so there is still a lot of law / trial / etc. to be done, as far as I can tell. the reporting on this story has been uniformly terrible"

If you read the reporting on the story, you'd understand that Kesha's lawyers made a strong case that she should receive the preliminary injunction so she could go on working, because the economic damage done to a pop star who is not releasing new music or following up on her previous work in a timely fashion is significant, and that every day she is prevented from working is a significant economic loss. And, further, that a major strategy of Sony and Dr. Luke is to draw the lawsuit out as long as possible, continually damaging her future earning ability, and ideally preventing her from earning enough to pay for her lawyers and continue her lawsuit, or to force her to settle because of economic damage.

Moreover, the judge's reasoning was very chilling (essentially that sexual assault between two parties to a contract is no reason to impair or suspend that contract while those allegations are worked out and, indeed, the sexually assaulted party can be forced to continue working under the terms of the contract with her assaulter during the lawsuit. That's super-troubling.) and Sony is sending a strong message to its affiliated artists -- which you can see by the number of Sony-affiliated artists and artists who have worked with Dr. Luke who are tweeting their support of Kesha and anger with the court -- that if they object to their treatment by Dr. Luke, they can expect Sony to prevent them from working and to ruin their careers.

The reporting has been fine. Perhaps you're not familiar enough with the case to understand why a preliminary injunction mattered.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


[Couple comments removed, cool it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:37 PM on February 20, 2016


The reporting has been fine.

I don't know jackshit about law but the reporting has been really confusing and unclear about a lot of points in this story.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:16 PM on February 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I went to dinner with some folks yesterday and all three of us had read different articles and ended up with different ideas of what exactly went down. Thanks for trying to explain some of it E McGee.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:13 PM on February 20, 2016


Someone on Twitter asked if it was possible to crowdfunding a way to buy Kesha out of her contract.

I know a similar strategy happened with Poe and that turned out terribly for her. But that was one guy with complete control - what if it was distributed?
posted by divabat at 10:20 PM on February 20, 2016


If you read the reporting on the story,

I have, that’s why I said it was uniformly terrible. (And I should note that I wouldn't go a single day without devouring the output of august institutions like HuffPost Celebrity & Idolator.)

you'd understand that Kesha's lawyers made a strong case that she should receive the preliminary injunction so she could go on working, because the economic damage done to a pop star who is not releasing new music or following up on her previous work in a timely fashion is significant, and that every day she is prevented from working is a significant economic loss.

You guessed this because you understand what a preliminary injunction is and what it does. (Congrats, by the way! I passed CivPro as well, so I feel like we have a lot in common on this particular point. Most people haven't, though, and they deserve to have some idea of what's going on, too.)

And, further, that a major strategy of Sony and Dr. Luke is to draw the lawsuit out as long as possible, continually damaging her future earning ability, and ideally preventing her from earning enough to pay for her lawyers and continue her lawsuit, or to force her to settle because of economic damage.

This has been explained sufficiently exactly nowhere in the reporting that I read, but go ahead and point me to it if I missed it. It seems like a pretty easy thing for someone to guess if they have a general idea of how the civil litigation process works, which I suspect is why you’ve figured it out. (Again, civpro, congrats!)

Moreover, the judge's reasoning was very chilling (essentially that sexual assault between two parties to a contract is no reason to impair or suspend that contract while those allegations are worked out and, indeed, the sexually assaulted party can be forced to continue working under the terms of the contract with her assaulter during the lawsuit. That's super-troubling.)

This I would quibble with, given the way that due process considerations apply to the standard(s) of evidence necessary for, specifically, preliminary injunctions (I’m not familiar with NY specifically, of course, which you might be).

Also, I’m surprised that you’re so confidently stating that the court is requiring specific performance via preliminary injunction. Where are you getting that?

and Sony is sending a strong message to its affiliated artists -- which you can see by the number of Sony-affiliated artists and artists who have worked with Dr. Luke who are tweeting their support of Kesha and anger with the court -- that if they object to their treatment by Dr. Luke, they can expect Sony to prevent them from working and to ruin their careers.

I don’t tweet, nor do I consider this part of the reporting of the story, which is what I was discussing, but okay. A+

The reporting has been fine. Perhaps you're not familiar enough with the case to understand why a preliminary injunction mattered.

Uh lol I’m pretty familiar, but given that most of the stories about this ruling specifically were terrible click-bait KESHA KIDNAPPED BY SONY!!! type things, and I don’t think it’s fine. I think that sexual assault survivors (and everyone else) deserves more than the most sensationalistic, detail-free stories possible, pushed out as quickly as possible to get the most clicks. It’s gross and it’s not beneficial to women (and critiquing it is not a critique of kesha or anyone who is supporting her, or anyone who is upset about this ruling, which you are seemingly trying to imply--hope I'm wrong about your intentions here.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


Have you ever listened to Timber by Pitbull (featuring Kesha)? It's a pretty gross song, and OF COURSE it's produced by Dr Luke. I wonder if he wrote some of these lines:
It’s going down, I’m yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let’s make a night you won’t remember
I’ll be the one you won’t forget


The bigger they are, the harder they fall
This biggity boy’s a diggity dog
I have ‘em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off
Twerking in their bras and thongs, timber
Face down, booty up, timber
That’s the way we like to what? timber
I’m slicker than an oil spill
She say she won’t, but I bet she will, timber

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it’s going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it’s going down
The lyrics are beyond questionable, but the idea that a rapist may have written this for his victim to sing makes it so much worse.
posted by mokin at 12:01 AM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Taylor Swift donates $250 million to Kesha. The article also has a series of tweets that Demi Lovato has sent out in support of Kesha - a few of those tweets people think are a subtle dig at Taylor Swift for her silence (well up until her donation). I'm not sure exactly why Demi is targeting Taylor, I think something about criticising her for calling herself a feminist when it's convenient. I have mixed feelings about the donation.

Kesha: The musical equivalent of the drunk girl in the short dress
posted by like_neon at 6:41 AM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


($250,000, not million. Even Swift isn't that rich.)
posted by LooseFilter at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dangit, sorry, I think I was thinking quarter of a million at the same time as writing it.
posted by like_neon at 7:57 AM on February 22, 2016


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