Kanye West is facing another lawsuit for his eleventh studio album, “Donda 2.” Five months since the album’s release, the iconic rapper is facing his second lawsuit for copyright infringement.
Ye was accused of sampling a 1986 song by Marshall Jefferson, “Move Your Body,” in the track “Flowers” without permission or due protocol.
Kanye West Sued For Copyright Infringement Over ‘Flowers’ Song
According to Billboard, a complaint was filed on Wednesday in the U.S District Court in New York, accusing Kanye of sampling “Move Your Body” (a.k.a “The House Music Anthem”) on his track “Flowers” without paying for it or seeking permission.
The suit claims the unauthorized sample from the 1986 house track was repeated “at least 22 times” throughout Ye’s song
The complaint was sponsored by Ultra International Music Publishing, Jefferson’s publishers, and Bradley J. Mullins and Christine Lepera of Mitchell Silberberg & Knapp are the lawyers representing them.
In the lawsuit, UIMP slams the “Praise God” rapper for being a hypocrite and not sticking to his vow of advocating for artists’ rights and working “with anyone who treats artists fairly & righteous — a statement he made during a 2020 Billboard interview.
“West advocates for artists’ rights with one hand, yet has no shame in taking away rights from another artist with the other,” the suit reads.
The complaint states that UIMP and Jefferson’s representatives had a sit down with Ye and his reps and the latter party acknowledged sampling “Move Your Body” with authorization or compensation.
However, despite their acknowledgment, Ye and his team “continue to willfully infringe in blatant disregard of UIMP’s rights of ownership.”
“Defendants’ conduct is willful and deliberate,” warns the court document.
Manufacturers For Stem Player Also Involved In Lawsuit
In a surprising move, Alex Klein, the co-creator of the Stem Player, and his company Kano Computing Limited were listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
Kanye West announces that ‘Donda 2’ will be released exclusively on his Stem Player which costs $200. pic.twitter.com/r8PpBFL2KJ
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 18, 2022
As The Blast reported, Ye released “Donda 2” exclusively on the Stem Player, an MP3 Walkman-like CD player that includes vocal control, bass and drums instrumentals as well as the ability to “isolate parts, add effects, and split any song into stems.”
The pocket-sized device retailed for $200 and featured touch-sensitive lights, silicone skin, Bluetooth, tactile effects, and looping.
The lawsuit alleges that the “isolation into stems” feature made it possible for users to “alter and customize” Move Your Body” with the device.
Following the release of the Stem Player, Ye bragged about making more than $2 million in revenue for selling 11,000 of the devices in the space of 24 hours.
UIMP is seeking $150,000 in maximum statutory damages per infringement or profits and damages in amounts determined at trial. They also want the attorney fees and full costs of the suit settled.
As regards the infringement, the publishing company is demanding “a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining and restraining Defendants” and their associates from continuing to sample “Move Your Body.”
This isn’t the first time the Yeezy founder has been accused of copyright infringement of samples in his songs.
Back in May, a Texas pastor named Bishop David P. Morgan sued Ye for using a sample from one of his sermons in his “Come To Life” song off the 2021 “Donda” album.
Moten accused Ye of using his sermon to make up about 20% of his hit track without consent or compensation.
“Over the span of several years, defendants have demonstrated an alarming pattern and practice of willfully and egregiously sampling sound recordings of others without consent or permission, the lawsuit read.
The Rappers Ex-wife Sued For Trademark Infringement
Ye’s second copyright infringement lawsuit comes a day after his estranged wife Kim Kardashian was embroiled in a legal battle of her own.
As The Blast recently reported, Kim was sued for trademark infringement over her recently-released skincare brand “SKKN By Kim.”
A woman and Black-owned small business in Brooklyn, Beauty Concepts, filed the lawsuit claiming they had ownership of the trademark “SKKN+” before Kim released her brand.
The “KUWTK” star was accused of bullying the small business despite them warning her of their trademarked name before she announced her brand.
However, the reality star and her legal team clapped back at the lawsuit, calling it a “shakedown effort.”
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They explained that they tried to have a sit-down with Beauty Concepts, owned by a Ms. Lunsford, to reach an amicable agreement that allows the co-existence of both brands. However, they didn’t collaborate.
“Since we’ve done nothing wrong we stood our ground. We think the case is less about the law of trademarks and more about trying to leverage a settlement by threatening Ms. Kardashian’s name and reputation. That’s not going to work and we look forward to presenting our case in court,” Kim’s lawyer notes.