A 2-year-old legal war between Tim McGraw and Curb Records, which became his home to release his hit albums in the past 20 years, is on again. The recording company, which he left for Big Machine Records, files a new lawsuit against the country music crooner in a federal court Monday, April 29, citing copyright infringement and breach of contract.
Curb Records says they own the rights to "Two Lanes of Freedom", the first effort McGraw made for his new label, alleging that materials in the album were recorded while he was still under contract with Curb and before his last album with Curb, "Emotional Traffic", was delivered. They are seeking a return of master recording, compensatory and punitive damages.
In the new suit, the plaintiffs additionally ask for an injunction against future recording or releases until its contract with the singer has been fulfilled. They insist that the 45-year-old singer/songwriter, based on a 2001 settlement, still owes them a greatest album that is still not produced, not to mention their claim that his last album with the label was poorly made.
In 2011, Curb sued McGraw over his last delivery for the label. "Emotional Traffic" was crafted too quickly for their liking. The recording company claimed the singer made it in a rush and they saw it as a "transparent tactic to attempt to fulfill his contractual recording commitment to Curb prematurely in breach of the recording agreement."
In response, McGraw filed a countersuit of his own seeking advanced payment and recording-fund reimbursement, as well as a jury trial. Meanwhile, in an interview, he once said, "All the songs have been done for a long time, and the label has had it; It's the last album that they have of mine, so they're trying to hold on to it as long as they can."
In November 2011, the court granted McGraw permission to record new music on another label and Curb then released "Emotional Traffic" in January 2012. The recording company later filed an appeal but failed in their effort to once again try to block the country music singer from finishing an album for his new label. "Two Lanes of Freedom" was released in February 2013 under Big Machine.