New details about the Hall & Oates lawsuit were revealed after a judge unsealed parts of the case last week.
Daryl Hall sued his longtime songwriting partner after John Oates made plans to sell his share of the pair's catalog to a company called Primary Wave IP Investment Management, the Associated Press reported. The plaintiff and his lawyers believe the move would violate the pair's existing business agreement.
A judge approved a restraining order to prevent Oates from completing the sale shortly after the lawsuit was filed in Nashville on Nov. 16. The process can't move forward until an arbitrator in a related case weighs in on the matter or the restraining order expires. The latter usually happens within 15 days, but the judge has the power to extend the deadline.
Primary Wave already bought some of the rights to Hall & Oates' intellectual property back in 2007. Although the details of the sale weren't made public, sources told the New York Post the company likely bought at least a 50% interest in the catalog for between $25 and $50 million.
Hall told Sky News he regretted the sale in a 2021 interview. "In the early days, (our catalog) got sold off for me and I didn’t get the money," he said. "I have a bit of my publishing, but a lot of bad business was done in the early days – I’m a real rock and roll story when it comes to that kind of thing."
After meeting in a Philadelphia elevator in 1967, Hall and Oates went on to become the most successful songwriting duo of all time. Six of their albums were platinum certified and six of their singles, including "Maneater" and "Out of Touch," made it to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hall revealed that he and Oates aren't close during an episode of Bill Maher's Club Random podcast last September. "He’s my business partner. He’s not my creative partner," the musician said. "John and I are brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called Hall & Oates together, but we’ve always been very separate, and that’s a really important thing for me."
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 30.