Saturday, January 22, 2011

Music publisher sues Beck, Busta Rhymes, King Tee, The Heavy

Music publisher Drive-in Music Co is sueing Beck, Busta Rhymes, King Tee, Ninja Tunes and The Heavy to name but a few, over their use of a song by Dyke and the Blazers.From the Hollywood Reporter...

"In 1969, the funk band, Dyke & the Blazers, had its biggest hit, "Let a Woman Be a Woman And A Man Be A Man." The song was written by the band's front-man Arlester Christian. He assigned rights to the song to Drive-in Music Company. Two years later, Christian passed away.

"For forty years, Drive-in Music has enjoyed copyright title to the song, but hasn't taken much action. Until very recently. Soon after the commercial ran, Drive-in Music sued Kia, CBS, the NFL, ad agency David & Goliath, Ninja Tune Records and various other parties for copyright theft." Read more here.

The parties settled 3 months after the lawsuit was filed. The song by The Heavy has recently turned up in the movie soundtrack for The Fighter. Audio below of The Heavy and the original from Dyke and the Blazers.

Clearly this success gave Drive-In Music the idea to go after anyone who has ever lifted this tune, so some of the lawsuits they've filed relate to songs going back to 1990. Simple lesson - if you're going to sample something, get it cleared. Or it might come back to haunt you 20 years later. lists a bunch of hiphop artists who it says have sampled this tune, from Tupac to Stetsasonic to Public Enemy to DJ Shadow.

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