Jay-Z & Kanye Accused Of Infringement… On Album They Worked So Hard To Stop From Leaking
from the just-saying... dept
We recently wrote about the ridiculous pains to which the producing crew for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s new album went through to try to prevent the album from leaking. After we wrote that, we actually got some detailed information showing that for all that effort, the album actually did leak (via a hacker) who tried to sell it, but the asking price was too high. Either way, for a crew so concerned (supposedly) about “infringement,” you might think they’d also be focused on making sure their own album didn’t infringe. However, not everyone feels they did so.
Apparently R&B/soul singer Syl Johnson, who has gone after an awful lot of musicians for sampling his work is considering suing over an uncleared sample on the album. His publisher put up a blog post about this, though that blog post has been taken down now. The blog post was full of bluster about just how much money other artists pay Johnson:
“Two decades and several lawsuits later, Syl Johnson is a veteran of copyright infringement cases, and has done very well for himself clearing samples from his fertile catalog (we’re glad to say we’ve helped him with a few) for use in numerous tracks,” reads part of the post. “He’s been amply paid, as he is quick to boast in his concerts, by acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Kid Rock, and Michael Jackson. Other performers … have not been so respectful.”
Perhaps some of that time spent “locking up” the album could have been spent on making sure the samples were actually cleared. Of course, the process for clearing samples is pretty ridiculous these days, and it’s not surprising that a sample might fall through the cracks. But, once again, this really highlights the difference between “leaks” and “infringement.” While we were told that the efforts to keep the work locked up showed how much the two hip hop stars were concerned about “piracy,” it seems clear that they were much more concerned about the marketing aspect, and having the album become available when they wanted, rather than any great deference to copyright law.