There’s a lot going on in Mexican regional singer Christian Nodal’s life right now. From going through a very public breakup to duty cover up her ex-fiancé Belinda’s face tattoohis parents are now embroiled in a lawsuit related to his music catalog. Label giant Universal Music has filed a charge against Silvia Nodal and Jaime González before Mexico’s attorney general’s office (Fiscalía General de la República), claiming they provided false documents as proof of ownership of the singer’s music catalog . It comes after Nodal signed with Sony Music US Latin and Sony Mexico to February 15.
It’s a hard accusation to dissect, but it stems from a dispute over ownership of Christian Nodal’s music catalog. Does his former label Universal Music own him, or does the singer own the rights to his music? What happens now that the artist is signed to another record label? In order to break away from Universal Music, Nodal and his parents sued to become the owner of his entire musical catalog in November 2021, including his new music “Nace Un Borracho”, “Dime Cómo Quieres” and his old hits “Adiós Amor” and “Ay ay ay”. However, it appears to be causing more drama, now that his former record company claims the documents presented by the family are fake.
According to the universal, Nodal’s parents presented documents showing the alleged ownership of the singer to the federal judge. But his former label, Fonovisa (part of Universal Music), claims they are fraudulent. The label claims that it has several contracts and the corresponding payments that legitimize it as the owner of Nodal’s musical catalog and that the parents and the singer have acknowledged the company as the owner of the rights in the past. Universal Music also claims in the lawsuit that “the intent is to strip the record company of works, which Nodal and his parents have acknowledged Universal/Fonovisa as the owner, [and] who could expose procedural fraud by presenting documents that attribute title or ownership of works that do not belong to him and possibly also result in copyright infringement. The company filed its lawsuit on February 22.
As of press time, neither the singer nor his parents have commented on the lawsuit.
The relationship between Nodal and Fonovisa’s parents dates back to 2017 when they signed the contract for her then underage son to record music, film music videos and work on other company projects. However, now that Nodal is pursuing his career elsewhere, the label giant is taking steps to ensure their ownership is evident, especially since they were the ones who helped fund them. It’s a back and forth of ownership that they’re both trying to fight for.
It’s been a long road to Nodal’s independence (at least musically), and he’s been open about this process of leaving the label since late last year. Last November, he posted an Instagram post about the press frenzy Universal Music allegedly created because he wasn’t re-signing with them after five years. This is rooted in the so-called “veto” that took place, where, according to Los Angeles Times, Universal Music asked the other parties to “refrain from disclosing, manufacturing, contracting, distributing, marketing, promoting, exploiting and selling records” with the artist, presumably to maintain their exclusivity. Nodal claims he has nothing to do with the company now that he is freed from it.
We have seen this happen to many artists, especially young ones. But the difference here is that if there are fraudulent papers involved, it could create a completely different scenario for the artist. Hopefully everything is handled properly and his new label is a better fit for the growing artist.