MF DOOM‘s estate is suing former Stones Throw Label Manager and DOOM’s business associate, Eothen “Egon” Alapatt. Jasmine Dumile Thompson, the late rapper’s widow, has filed a lawsuit against the former Stones Throw executive, claiming he allegedly stole 31 of DOOM’s notebooks, which the rapper relied on to write a handful of tracks off Operation Doomsday (1999), Madvillainy (2004), and MM…FOOD (2004), as well as “other creative ideations.”
Per Billboard‘s report, Thompson filed the case in California federal court just yesterday, claiming “fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, constructive trust and declaratory relief” as well as copyright infringement.
But the stolen notebooks are not news to DOOM’s fandom. The notebooks first surfaced online earlier this year, when Thompson shared a handful of screenshots of emails between DOOM and Alapattto to DOOM’s Instagram page, prompting “Egon [to] Give The Notebooks Back.”
Egon has admitted to possessing the notebooks, though refuses to return them, instead vouching they are “donated to a university or government archive” or a “museum or other institution of [Alapatt’s] choosing” – despite the lawsuit further noting that the notebooks were deemed by DOOM “secret and confidential.”
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The saga dates back even longer, beginning in 2010, when DOOM got held up in the U.K., and was prohibited from returning to the U.S. after his performances due to immigration issues; during DOOM’s time across the pond – where he remained until his passing – his lyrical notebooks were left unattended in his Los Angeles studio, which the lawsuit alleges Alapatt “took unlawful possession” of six years later. Per the lawsuit, “Alapatt never consulted with DOOM about his acquisition of the notebooks and took advantage of DOOM’s being out of the country to obtain them.”
After initially denying he had the notebooks, Alapatt then allegedly claimed he was the rightful owner of them – because DOOM owed him $12,500 USD in past-due rent, and if Alapatt didn’t pay it off, the landlord was going to destroy all of the belongings left in the apartment, including the notebooks.
In the summer of 2020, Alapatt allegedly offered to send DOOM and his family photocopies of the notebook’s content, still refusing to return the physical notebooks; DOOM declined the offer. In October 2020, right before DOOM’s death, DOOM’s estate alleges that Alapatt sent DOOM a hard drive with scans of every notebook he lost – between 2018 and 2020 – which, the lawsuit claims, proves that Alapatt was indeed infringing on the estate’s intellectual property.
“Although Alapatt has professed that he ‘does not intend to publish’ the unauthorized digital copies he made, he does not have to ‘publish’ the copies of his infringing copies to be liable,” reads the lawsuit. “Regardless, [DOOM’s estate] alleges that Alapatt actually shared the copies of the notebook he made with others.”
A trial-by-jury has been requested. Stay tuned to Hypebeast for more updates as they surface.
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