Beyonc is seeking to dismiss a $20 million lawsuit over the Formation music video filed by the family of late New Orleans-area YouTube star Anthony Barr.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the singers legal team filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit by Barrs sister that claims Beyonc used clipsof his voice in her Formation music video without permission. The suit asks for royalties and damages, and insists that Barr be given credit for the track.
The motion to dismissargues that Beyoncs use of the clips were considered fair use because they were less than 10 seconds. Her lawyer also argues that the family has grossly overstated how much the clips were being used.
In reality, the snippets from the YouTube Videos wereused only in the Music Video and, to a lesser extent, during the Live Performances, the motion, filed by Beyoncs legal team, states. As a result,all defendants without an alleged involvement in the Music Video or Live Performances shouldbe dismissed regardless of the merits of Plaintiffs claims.
Barr, who also went by the name Messy Mya, was 22 when he wasshot and killed in the 7th Ward of New Orleans in 2010. Barrs family argued that the Formation video stole his signature phrase, I like that, from his YouTube video and used his voice.
The singers legal team claims that using Barrs voice is protected under the First Amendment for its artistic relevance.
Sampling and copyright issues are constantly at odds in the music industry, especially for hip-hop artists. Copyright laws have typically protected artists who sample based on the fair use protections, but their work must meet the standards of being limited and transformative.
Beyonc isnt the only artist who has fallen prey to copyright lawsuits in recent years. Ed Sheeran was sued last year for the same amount over claims he allegedly plagiarized his song Photograph, a contest he recently settled. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost a $7.3 million lawsuit over the use of Marvin Gayes Got to Give It Up in the hit single Blurred Lines.
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