Kanye West and Jay-Z Respond to Lawsuit

| December 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

It appears that people are Watching The Throne closer than Kanye West and Jay-Z expected. News was released last week that the duo was accused of using an unauthorized sample on “The Joy” off of their collaboration album, Watch The Throne, resulting in  a lawsuit filed by soul and blues musician Syl Johnson. In October, Johnson sued the superstar hip-hop duo, plus UMG and Def Jam, for allegedly taking a portion of his song “Different Strokes” without permission, payment, or credit.

West and Jay-Z also won’t admit that they used Johnson’s song, but believe that even if they did, they are protected from the plaintiff’s allegations. According to the their Answer, filed by attorney Carrie Hall“Any claim based on the alleged use of Plaintiffs’ recording is is barred because, inter alia, (a) the allegedly copied portion of the Plaintiff’s recording is not part of the musical composition; and, if it is part of the composition, (b) is not protectable and/or (c) any use was de minimus.”

 Johnson was nominated for two Grammy Awards for best historical album and best liner notes, but told  Billboard that it “should have been three,” counting his third as his unaccredited contribution to the  Grammy-nominated Watch The Throne.

“[Kanye] said he wanted to meet with me and apologize – since I sued him — but I didn’t sue him to be smart,” added Johnson. “I sued him because that’s the right thing to do man. I’m a musician.” Everyone’s eyes will be all over this legal tale. Hopefully everyone comes out a winner.

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