Chicago greats Larry Heard and Robert Owens (2/3 of house group Fingers Inc.) fought a two-year court battle that ended in their favor.
TRAX Record founded in 1984 by Larry Sherman referred to as the Motown of House music. Known for its unsavory business practices that included; maintaining ownership of musical copyright and refusing to pay royalties that subjected the label two decades of legal challenges.
On May 1, 1990 involuntary dissolution dissolved Trax Records LTD.
December 17, 2002 a joint venture agreement made between Casablanca-Trax Inc. and Trax Records Inc. That included Screamin Rachael Cain and Larry Sherman to handle recruitment of new talent and producing their recordings. Casablanca-Trax handled the marketing and distribution of the music. The Sherman’s received $20k each month for their expenses. Later a $100k loan promised to the Sherman’s and recouped in payments from the monthly $20k they already were receiving. Per the agreement, a collateral provided that included; their recording equipment, the music related to the assets and recordings made thereon, if they defaulted the loan.
An advancement of $367,000 was paid to the Sherman’s under a joint venture agreement.
On May 26, 2005 Casablanca sued the Sherman’s and all the companies they operated under (TRAX RECORDS, INC.; Sanlar Publishing; TRAX Continental Ltd.; Phat TRAX; R & L Records, Inc.; Saber Records, Ltd.; Hot Mix 5 Records; House-Time Records; Dangerous Records; Demand Records; Maad Records; Precision Records, Ltd.) seeking to seize collateral listed in the security agreement because an outstanding balance of $28k was owe out of the $100k which the Sherman’s admitted.
If the Sherman’s defaulted on the loan, the collateral would be Casablanca-TRAX possession to lease, sell or dispose of. The Sherman’s defense to the breach of contract claim included; charges and Casablanca breached the joint venture agreement for failing to account for sales and failing to seek arbitration.
In April 2006 trial, granted Casablanca judgment on a breach of contract claim and denied a motion of arbitration.
On June 28, 2006 Casablanca-TRAX sold all items seized to its self.
On April 8, 2020 TRAX Records owner Larry Sherman died of heart failure at 70 years old.
In the same year was when Owens and Heard filed their suit for their royalties owed and music that included:
Can You Feel It–10/17/1986 LISTEN
Washing Machine–02/26/1987 LISTEN
Beyond The Clouds–02/26/1987 LISTEN
Bring Down The Walls–02/26/1987 LISTEN
Distant Planet – 11/10/1987 LISTEN
Never No More Lonely–01/27/1987 LISTEN
Donnie – 03/02/1987 LISTEN
They were seeking damages of $150,000 per track, with a minimum of $1million dollars total. Unfortunately they didn’t win the monetary part of the settlement due to founder Sherman had died and current owner (s) of Trax Records didn’t have the money to pay. Owens and Heard's lawyer Robert S. Meloni investigated and confirmed this. Who also stated trying to get a judgment would have extended this case for many months resulting in pyrrhic victory.