Jay-Z + Kanye West Deny Claims in Syl Johnson’s Lawsuit
It's looks like Jay-Z and Kanye West are not willing to give up the Throne without a fight. The dynamic rap duo has filed a counterclaim to soul veteran Syl Johnson's lawsuit, which accuses them of sampling his tune 'Different Strokes' without permission for their song, 'The Joy.'
According to Billboard.biz, Hov and Yeezy feels that since Johnson's song was recorded in 1972 before federal copyright laws were enacted regarding sound recordings, they were legally able to use it.
The Throne does acknowledge that 'The Joy' was released (via the Internet) before 'Watch the Throne' and was also added on the deluxe version of the album. The also believe that even if they did sample Johnson's song, they are protected from the plaintiff's allegations.
"Any claim based on the alleged use of Plaintiffs' recording is barred because, inter alia, (a) the allegedly copied portion of the Plaintiff's recording is not part of the musical composition; and, if it is part of the composition, (b) is not protectable and/or (c) any use was de minimus," read the Answer, filed by their attorney Carrie Hall.
As we previously reported, Syl Johnson slapped Jay-Z and Kanye West with a copyright-infringement lawsuit in October seeking punitive damages for their alleged sample usage. He also wanted an injunction on all copies of 'Watch the Throne' and requests a full accounting of sale and publishing money.
We are no legal eagles here at PopCrush but, come on guys, pay the man!