George Clinton Sues Black Eyed Peas
Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:36:56
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Funk pioneer George Clinton has filed a copyright lawsuit against members of the Black Eyed Peas, UMG Recordings and Cherry Hill Music for allegedly sampling his song "(Not Just) Knee Deep."
According to the complaint, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Clinton's song wound up in remixes of the Black Eyed Peas' "Shut Up," first released in 2003.
Clinton's original, 15-minute song appeared on his 1979 album, Uncle Jam Wants You. "(Not Just) Knee Deep" was later sampled by artists such as De La Soul, LL Cool J, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, so it clearly has a "recycled" history.
According to Billboard, Georgie C. has become more aggressive on the copyright front in past years with several cases involving his intellectual property. He has been successful in his courtroom bids, so it makes sense that he continues to pursue them.
According to the complaint, Clinton became aware of the Black Eyed Peas' use of his old song when a record producer for the band came to him in 1999 and requested a license for a new remix of "Shut Up." Clinton says he rejected the request, not knowing at the time that his song had already been sampled by the band in a prior version. He says the sample was used by the Peas anyway on the album The E.N.D..
Clinton is seeking maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement and an injunction prohibiting further distribution of the infringing song. Sometimes, when bands "borrow" a sample, they are often allowed to do so without any legal consequence.
Do you think Clinton should make like The Beatles and "Let it Be?"