The Delta Goodrem unreleased tapes dispute involves unreleased material recorded by Australian singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem in 1999 and 2000. Goodrem recorded thirteen tracks for an album given the working title Delta while signed to an artist development deal with the small independent label Empire Records. In 2004, after Goodrem had achieved mainstream success, Empire's owners attempted to shop the recordings to other labels, though Goodrem objected. The dispute led to a lawsuit, which was settled in mediation to the effect that the recordings would remain unreleased.
When Goodrem was 15 years old, her first manager Glenn Wheatley signed her to an artist development deal with independent label Empire Records, to see if she possessed potential as a recording artist. Between June 1999 to June 2000, she worked with producers Paul Higgins and Trevor Carter on thirteen tracks for an album called Delta, which saw "an ambitious 15-year-old keen to emulate the pop sound of the Spice Girls, Britney Spears and Mandy Moore." Most tracks were written by Carter, although Goodrem did co-write a couple of tracks including the sole-penned "Love". Goodrem did a photoshoot for the album (some of the photos have surfaced), and recorded a home-made style music video for the song "Say" which has since leaked onto the internet. Higgins took the album to Roadshow, who offered to market and distribute the album, but the deal was knocked back by Goodrem's parents. In September 2000, Goodrem signed to Sony Music and the album was shelved. A year later, Goodrem released her debut single "I Don't Care" and in late 2002, released her breakthrough international hit "Born to Try", with many number ones to follow.
In March 2004, while Goodrem was undergoing cancer treatment for Hodgkins disease, Higgins and Carter announced plans to release the album. They would shop the album around and begin a bidding war amongst record companies. After the overwhelming success of Goodrem's debut album Innocent Eyes, which sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide, industry experts expected that bidding for the album could attract figures anywhere between $1.5 million and $15 million. When Goodrem and her family disapproved of the album's release, a lawsuit was filed. Goodrem's lawyers claimed the album was made up of unfinished demo recordings which were not fit for commercial release. After much coverage in the media, the case was settled in mediation. In exchange for not releasing the album, Higgins and Carter received an unspecified payout.