Jay-Z Sued for Sampling By Sample Troll

credit: npr.org

Gigaom is reporting that rapper/NFL agent/Mr. Beyonce Jay-Z is being sued by what can only can be referred to as a “sample troll”. 

The rapper’s 2009 hit “Run This Town” uses samples from a 1969 song, “Hook and Sling”. The samples were used without clearance from the current rights holder, TufAmerica, who is best known for suing the Beastie Boys in 2012 (on the same day founding member Adam Yauch passed away) for infringing on the copyrights it held in several songs written by the band Trouble Funk. A fantastic recap of the Beastie Boys suit is at the site paidcontent.org.

The legal ramifications of sampling first appeared thanks to that “lovable loser” Biz Markie, who was known for liberal use of sampling in his own songs. Some background on that on NPR. The case was Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Brothers Records, Inc., cite: 780 F. Supp. 182 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). The result of the Grand Upright case was that any recognizable samples had to be cleared and paid for before their subsequent use. Copyright holders were known to charge exorbitant fees for clearance, effectively killing the practice for two decades.

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