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.
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Filed Under: copyright, jay-z, kanye west


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    The problem with the leak is the person tried selling it for an exorbitant amount of money, instead of just uploading it somewhere, which is what kept it from leaking."

    Haha this has a 'National Enquirer' feel to it... you know, the people who pay millions of dollars for pictures of secret celebrity weddings or something? Except they realized that most people were comfortable waiting the extra week or two... so no one was going to pay anything more than the 17$ the artists wanted!

    Great chat though!! I wish Mike was reading, he would fill us in on the copyright laws in regards to length of time from release! (I also wish I had his extensive knowledge on that stuff!)

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