RZA Files Lawsuit Against Company Over Copyright Infringement Accusations
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.01.2013
Wu Tang member fighting back against illegal sampling claims...
RZA has filed a lawsuit against a company that has accused him of sampling theft. Billboard reports that the Wu Tang Clan member has filed suit against JVC Kenwood Holdings, who through Teichiku Entertainment has acquired the rights to several sound recordings and compositions. The rapper/producer filed suit claiming that Def Jam has withheld over $50,000 in royalties due to claims that a Teichiku sampling was illicitly used on Kanye West's "Dark Fantasy," which RZA produced.
The suit is an attempt to get a declaration that the sampling is not an infringement and is one of several lawsuits that he is planning to combat illegal sampling claims. RZA claims in the lawsuit that he was told that the song contained a non-authorized sample of Meiko Kaji's "Gincyo Watadori" and that Def Jam refused to pay royalties as a result, claiming "that it is entitled to indemnification from plaintiff against defendant's copyright infringement claim."
RZA's lawyer, Howard King, said of the suit, "We see dozens of baseless copyright-infringement claims against our clients every year. Rather than engaging in costly and fruitless dialogue trying to convince claimants and their contingency lawyers that our clients do not succumb to extortion and settle ridiculous claims, we have decided to commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending same. The RZA complaint is the second one of these we have filed this month, with more to come."
He adds, "RZA did not use Teichiku's piano run, and it sounds different from the one in 'Dark Fantasy.' In fact, it would have been technologically impossible to sample the piano run without the rest of the music in 'Gincyo Watadori,' and the piano run in 'Gincyo' is so simple that the least talented person in the studio could have replayed it had anyone wished to do so."