The hashtag campaign to Free Rita has taken off on Twitter as fans of Rita Ora support her in her struggle to break free from Jay Z’s record label, Roc Nation. The X Factor judge and pop singer is seeking to sever herself from the label and has filed a lawsuit in an effort to end the contract she is currently bound to.
The 25 year old artist has been with Roc Nation since 2008, but hasn’t seen nearly the amount of success as she had hope for. In the seven years since she was signed by the label, Rita Ora has only released one album, her self-titled debut. She is now claiming that she has been neglected and forgotten about due to changes in the company’s direction.
Rita’s lawsuit against Roc Nation states that “When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” but goes on to add that that has changed in recent years, saying “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives.”
Now, Rita Ora feels as though all the supporters she once had at Roc Nation have moved on, and she’s been left without “a relationship with anyone at the company.” Judging by all of her fans on Twitter who have engaged in the Free Rita campaign, they agree that their beloved singer has been neglected.
— JJ ✨ (@joshjenns) December 17, 2015
The suit points out that Roc Nation has branched out to focus more on sports management and streaming services, and calls the label “diminished” with “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.”
In order to break free from her contract, Rita Ora is appealing to the court to apply Labour Code §2855, which is known as the ‘The De Havilland Law’ or the ‘seven year rule’. The law states that “a contract to render personal service… may not be enforced against the employee beyond seven years from the commencement of service under it.”
The law was created in 1944 when Hollywood actress Olivia De Havilland sued Warner Bros when they added an additional six months with them after her seven year contract had ended due to times she had been on suspension. Olivia won the case and it set a new precedent for those in the entertainment industry.
Rita Ora’s attorney, Howard King, is hoping that the judge will see the similarities between Olivia De Havilland’s circumstances and Rita’s and allow the singer’s contract with Roc Nation to end.
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