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New Marvin Gaye Tapes Discovered

Marvin Gaye, one of the most legendary soul singers of the 20th century, produced a series of hit recordings before his untimely death in 1984 from gun violence. But now, 40 years later, the world may experience a new set of never-heard recordings from the singer. “We can open a time capsule here and share the music of Marvin with the world," says Belgian lawyer Alex Trappeniers.

Assuming, of course, that ongoing legal proceedings can resolve their legal ownership. Trappeniers is the attorney for the family of Charles Dumolin, with whom Gaye once lived. Gaye moved to Belgium in 1981, to escape a cocaine habit he’d picked up living in London. While living with Dumolin, Gaye regained his health, and returned to recording. Some of the recordings he made during that time have never been released, and their potential value has only skyrocketed in the decades since his death.

And since Gaye gave them to the family, Trappeniers says, they should remain the family’s estate. He said, “They belong to [the family] because they were left in Belgium 42 years ago. Marvin gave it to them and said, 'Do whatever you want with it' and he never came back.”

The problem is, the Belgian law that would support the family’s custodianship of the physical tapes does not necessarily apply to intellectual property contained therein. If the heirs of the Gaye estate lay a claim to his music, the family could possess the recordings without a legal right to release them commercially. The Gaye family could legally own the music, but have no access to the tapes that contain them. Without a resolution, a legal stalemate would result.

Trappeniers says some kind of compromise and collaboration is necessary to bring Gaye’s new music to life. “I think we both benefit, the family of Marvin and the collection in the hands of [Dumolin's heirs]. If we put our hands together and find the right people in the world, the Mark Ronsons, or the Bruno Mars. ... Let's listen to this and let's make the next album.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Cooperation; Partnership; Teamwork; Unity – Much can be accomplished in any area of society where there is collaboration instead of competitiveness. This is what Paul told the Corinthian church, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction” (1 Cor. 1:10-17).

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