George Clinton Sues Black Eyed Peas Over Sample

Funk pioneer George Clinton sues the Black Eyed Peas.
Funk pioneer George Clinton sues the Black Eyed Peas.

Say it isn't so — not music guardian will.i.am? It seems that the man who is ultra concerned with the authenticity of Michael Jackson's music has some issues with authenticity himself. Reuters is reporting that George Clinton has filed a copyright lawsuit against members of the Black Eyed Peas, their Universal Music Group label and Cherry Lane music publisher for allegedly sampling his song "(Not Just) Knee Deep" on a Grammy Award-nominated album. According to the complaint, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the funk pioneer's song wound up in remixes of the Black Eyed Peas' "Shut Up," first released in 2003. Clinton's original song appeared on his 1979 album Uncle Jam Wants You and ran more than 15 minutes long. "(Not Just) Knee Deep" was later sampled by artists such as De La Soul, L.L. Cool J, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg and 2Pac.

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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 Black Eyed Peas anyway on the album The E.N.D., which was nominated in 2009 for a Grammy for album of the year. Clinton is seeking maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement and an injunction prohibiting further distribution of the infringing song.

If the claims are true, that's funked up. How are you going to use someone's song, then ask for permission, get rejected and then use it anyway multiple times? Maybe someone didn't get the paperwork that Clinton said, "No." He will now.

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Read more at Yahoo News.

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