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Kanye West sued over unlicensed sample in 'Gold Digger'

09 April 2013, 16:46 | Written by Steve Lampiris

-Photo taken from ‘Gold Digger’ video.

Kanye West is being sued for copyright infringement over a sample supposedly used (though not credited) in his mega-hit ‘Gold Digger.’

The uncredited sample in question is Thunder & Lightning’s ‘Bumpin’ Bus Stop,’ a song written by T&L member David Pryor. While the song (and the group) may be a minor footnote in music history, that isn’t stopping Pryor’s children from moving forward with the lawsuit against West.

The suit claims that West engaged in an “illegal copyright infringement scheme and criminal enterprise involving the unauthorized, willful sampling of plaintiff’s original copyrighted music on a massive scale.”

Reading a little further into the allegation, it says the “illegal copyright infringement scheme” that Pryor’s children assert lies in a 13-second portion of the song where West repeats “Get down girl, go ‘head, get down.” This is apparently close enough to what the Pryor original of “Get down, get down, get down.”

This “infringement” is apparently worth millions to the Plaintiffs, who have asked a judge, in addition to the money, to halt the sale of the song. To make things more interesting, AllHipHop is calling this a RICO lawsuit, since the Plaintiffs also claimed this has been going for 15 years across multiple artists and record labels.

West isn’t the only defendant named in the lawsuit, however. The others are Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and The Island Def Jam Music Group.

Compare and contrast the two tracks below:

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