Rapper Kanye West and Universal Music are seeking to battle against the copyright lawsuit filed earlier this year over the use of a clip at the start of his 2016 track ‘Ultralight Beam’.
According to an Instagram video, this song that was recorded for West’s album titled ‘The Life of Pablo’ includes the voice of a young girl in prayer. The video was uploaded by the girl’s mother in early 2016.
Sounds a bit interesting, West claimed that he received verbal approval to use the clip in his song from the child’s mother – Alice T Johnson. Nevertheless, in the Copyright Infringement lawsuit filed back in February, the girl’s adoptive parents – Andrew and Shirley Green, who adopted the girl in 2012 – argued that the agreement in connection with the use of the clip having girl’s voice had to be with them. It is because, at the time when the clip was recorded, Johnson was no longer legally the girl’s mother, and thus, didn’t possesses the authority to allow the girl’s voice to be used in the song.
The Greens further contended that even if Johnson provided approval, the lawsuit should continue as conversations amid her and West were only verbal. Meanwhile, Kanye neither finalized any written agreement with either Johnson or the Greens, nor he ever paid a fee for using the clip in his song.
To prevent the rapper from statutory or other relevant damages, his legal representatives have attempted to limit the copyright infringement lawsuit in several ways. Their response filed with the court deals with numerous elements of the case. For instance, firstly, West’s lawyers said that the Greens had not registered the original recording of the clip with the U.S. Copyright Office at the time when Ultralight Beam was recorded. Hence, they are not entitled to either attorney fees or statutory damages. Indeed, if the representatives succeed in arguing this, then there are possibilities that the damages owed to the Greens could reduce greatly.
Elsewhere West legal team seeks to remove an additional plaintiff, Andreia Green, from the lawsuit entirely. She is a relative of the child, and her adult voice, in addition to the girl, is also heard in the recording sampled by West. However, team West insisted that because Andreia Green is not listed as a co-owner of the recording in the Copyright Registration with the US Copyright Office, she has no standing in this case.
This is how West and his legal team responded so far in regard to the Ultralight Beam lawsuit. Nevertheless, for the final settlement, it now remains to be seen how the court and the Greens respond to West’s motion. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com
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