Kanye West Sued by Donna Summer

The Donna Summer Estate is Suing Kanye West for the Song “Vultures 1”

On Tuesday (Feb. 27), Donna Summer’s estate sued Kanye West for copyright infringement, claiming that West “shamelessly” sampled her 1977 single “I Feel Love” for his own “Good (Don’t Die)” song.

After public claims surfaced earlier this month that alleged West had infringed her copyright by interpolating her music into his hit single “Good” off the Vultures 1 album, Summer’s estate has now made good on those claims in a federal case filed in Los Angeles.

West “shamelessly used instantly recognizable portions” of her song in his tune, according to the estate’s counsel, even though her estate had previously “explicitly denied” him permission to do so.

“Summer’s estate… wanted no association with West’s controversial history and specifically rejected West’s proposed use,” her attorneys write. “Defendants haughtily and unilaterally resolved to steal ‘I Feel Love’ and use it without permission in response to this rejection.”

The attorneys for Summer’s estate claim that West sampled “almost verbatim” the main parts of her song before using them as a hook in his own song. Because of how similar the two songs were, the estate asserts that listeners and critics “instantly recognized” Kanye’s song as a “blatant rip-off.” Ty Dolla $ign, whose given name is Tyrone William Griffin Jr., is also cited in the case as an album collaborator.

Streaming providers swiftly removed “Good (Don’t Die)” following the estate’s public declarations earlier this month, and it appears that downloadable editions of the album have also been removed. However, according to the Summer estate, the harm has already been done and legal action is necessary.

“This lawsuit is much more than Defendants’ mere failure to pay the necessary licensing fee for using another’s musical property,” wrote the lawyers for the estate. “Also, it’s about making sure that people can’t just steal creative works when they can’t get the legal rights to use them, and about artists’ rights to control how their works are presented and used.”

Kanye West Sued by Donna Summer

When asked for comment, a representative from West did not immediately respond. No one could get in touch with Ty Dolla $ign right away to get their thoughts. The group known as Alien Music allegedly contacted the estate in January on behalf of West in an effort to obtain permission to utilize Summer’s song, as stated in Tuesday’s complaint.

After informing the estate that West had sampled “I Feel Love” on his own song, the group requested a “expedited” assessment so that West may release the song soon.

The Summer estate claims it took into account both the “immense commercial value” of approving the use of Summer’s song and the risk of “potential degradation to Summer’s legacy” when deciding whether or not to grant clearance to the troubled rapper, who has been under fire since making a series of antisemitic remarks in 2022.

“In light of West’s reputation as a divisive public figure, many brands and business associates have chosen to distance themselves from him,” the estate states. “In an effort to shield the priceless intellectual property… from being publicly linked to the unsavory press surrounding West,” the Summer Estate wrote.

The estate claims it was “shocked” to hear “Good (Don’t Die)” after its clearance request was “unambiguously denied.” It appeared as though West had tried to “get around this roadblock” by making an unauthorized interpolation of the underlying music instead of sampling the recording.

If an artist has already obtained a license to the underlying composition, they can legally re-record “soundalike” versions of songs as a strategy to circumvent outright sample denial. When it comes to Summer’s song, the rights to it are controlled by her estate.

The lawyers representing the estate have stated that it is “impossible to hear any difference between the two songs other than the striking similarity in melody and compositional elements.” They go on to suggest that the defendants may have even sampled Summer’s original master recording.

The Summer estate formally complained with streaming platforms, distributors, and retailers, including Spotify and Apple Music, which led to the removal of “Good (Don’t Die)” from both platforms just days after its release, as confirmed in Tuesday’s filings, which had previously been reported publicly by Billboard.

Some versions of the music are still available on user-uploaded sites like YouTube, and the estate claims that millions of people viewed or downloaded it anyhow.

According to their sources, “over 900,000 views and counting on YouTube alone” had been accumulated for a rendition of the song performed by West during a live listening session. West is no stranger to lawsuits alleging that he unlawfully sampled or interpolated music into his songs.

A Texas pastor sued him in 2022 for allegedly sampling from his recorded sermon in “Come to Life,” another case claimed that his song “Life of the Party” unlawfully sampled a song by the groundbreaking rap group Boogie Down Productions, and he was also accused of using an uncleared snippet of Marshall Jefferson’s 1986 house track “Move Your Body” in the song “Flowers.”

Earlier that year, in 2019, West and Pusha T were hit with a lawsuit over their 2019 single “Come Back Baby” that sampled George Jackson’s “I Can’t Do Without You.”

In the same year, a lawsuit was filed against him for what was supposedly used in his 2016 song “Ultralight Beam”—an audio clip of a little girl praying. “New Slaves,” “Bound 2,” and “My Joy” were all reportedly sampled from works by West that were subject to comparable lawsuits in the past.

Additional papers covering similar ground are accessible via the following links:

About Francis Castro 2568 Articles
Francis Castro writes related to the Trending News Category. She manages to cover anything. Francis is our freelance contributor. Francis is responsible for covering reporting in Trending finance and business categories. Francis has experience of 5 years as reporter to Trending News insights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.