Jay-Z and Kanye West Settle After Being Sued for ‘Joy’ Sample
Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s lives may include a certain number of problems, but the widely reported copyright infringement lawsuit regarding their use of an uncleared sample in the track ‘The Joy’ is no longer one of them: the duo has settled the case.
TMZ reports that legal documents filed last week revealed the lawsuit’s dismissal, although details of the settlement were kept confidential. The case stemmed from Jay-Z and West sampling Syl Johnson’s 1967 track ‘Different Strokes’ without permission — and could hardly have come as a surprise, given the similar suits filed by Johnson against Michael Jackson, Jefferson Airplane and Cypress Hill.
More damning was Johnson’s allegation that West initially tried to obtain clearance for the sample on his ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ album, but ran out of time. Given Johnson’s previous working relationship with West, the case had the potential to turn seriously nasty, so it’s a relief that cooler heads prevailed and the parties were able to come to an agreement without tying up the courts for longer than strictly necessary.
In any event, the case didn’t seem to slow sales for Jay-Z and West’s album ‘Watch the Throne,’ which has sold over a million copies in the U.S. and spawned six hit singles along the way. Johnson’s latest release, issued in 2010, is the compilation ‘Syl Johnson: The Complete Mythology.’