Friday 23 August 2013, 11:06 | By

Hip hop acts and labels face $100 million copyright lawsuit

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The Batiste Brothers

A $100 million lawsuit has been filed targeting various hip hop producers and rappers, plus music publishers and labels, over allegations they were all involved in illegally sampling and using music created by New Orleans jazz ensemble The Batiste Brothers (pictured).

Amongst those accused of using extracts of the Batiste Brothers’ work without permission are T-Pain, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross and Pitbull, while corporate defendants include Universal’s Def Jam and Sony’s RCA.

The litigation has been filed by Paul Batiste and in his legal papers he refers to “an immense number of songs infringing upon the plaintiff’s catalogue”. Numerous such songs are then listed, including Jamie Fox and T-Pain’s ‘Blame It’ and DJ Khaled’s ‘All I Do Is Win’.

It’s not clear why action hasn’t been taken before, but, according to AllHipHop.com, the lawsuit claims that “defendants have blatantly poached beats, lyrics, melodies and chords from Plaintiff’s songs” and that “many of the defendants songs have been released multiple times, in multiple versions and that each release constitutes an independent act of copyright infringement”.

Which is why the lawsuit reckons over $100,000,000 in damages could be due. None of the defendants have as yet responded to the various claims.

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