Beyonce Can’t Dodge ‘Formation’ Lawsuit

Beyonce’s legal team is going to have to work a little harder to slay a copyright infringement lawsuit over her hit “Formation.”

Beyonce's "Formation" Wins Grammy

Spoken word from the late Anthony Barre — also known as Messy Mya — is featured on the song, and his estate sued in February for copyright infringement, among other claims. Barre’s voice is heard saying “What happened at the New Orleans,” “Bitch, I’m back by popular demand” and “Oh yeah baby. I like that.” His sister, Angel Barre, claims the samples infringe the rights in two works of her brother’s performance art, “A 27 Piece Huh?” and “Booking the Hoes from New Wildings.”

A Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday denied Bey’s motion to dismiss the copyright claim on fair use grounds — but she’s not buying Barre’s argument that the doctrine doesn’t apply to digital sampling of a sound recording.

Beyonce Can't Dodge 'Formation' Lawsuit

At this stage facts alleged by the plaintiff are taken as true, and U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown found that Barre has made a case that Beyonce’s use of the clips was not transformative and that, although the samples were short, it was a “qualitatively significant” use. She also notes that a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, like this one, is “viewed with disfavor and is rarely granted.”

Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged in their complaint that Defendants did not change or alter the ‘expressive content or message’ of Anthony Barré’s YouTube videos, but rather used unmodified clips without adding anything new,” writes Brown in a 66-page decision, which is posted in full below. “[T]he Court concludes at this stage of litigation that ‘the copyright law’s goal of promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts’ would not be better served by allowing Defendants’ use of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted material without authorization or compensation than by preventing it.”

Brown also denied the motion to dismiss Barre’s false endorsement and Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act claims — but did dismiss the claim for unjust enrichment.

If the court denied the motion to dismiss, the defendants asked it to strike Barre’s request for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act and treble damages under the LUTPA. Brown denied the motion in its entirety, finding that Beyonce’s lawyers failed to show that Barre’s requests are “‘redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter’ such that striking it from the record is proper.”

SOURCE: WWF

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Amanda Goldben, more commonly known as Mz. On Point has always had a love for music, growing up in a household filled with music. Over the years she found herself more involved behind the scenes, then in the spotlight. She realized she wanted to help other obtain their dreams not just live her own. After working in a professional office setting and capacity for over 10 years, it was time to find something new. She wanted to find something that would fully utilized her skills and abilities, while still allowing her to be not only the main provider but also caregiver for her daughter. Almost accidentally discovering her love for music and her business skills could be used together Mz. On Point knew this was she was meant to do and began her research and networking to build not only her business and brand, but also those of the artists and clients she would be helping along the way. In November 2012 she realized that online promotions, public relations, and brand exposure where her “nitch”, all those years of office experience and computer work were showing their true worth and potential became endless. In a few short year she has had the privilege of working with some very influential people within the industry. In January of 2013 she began with DJ Shalamar and became a part of Team Fuego and now handles most of Southern Fuego’s social media & promotions. Attending sometimes dozens of events a month Mz. On Point quickly made a name for her brand throughout Central Florida. Being sure to attend key networking events, and conferences to not only network but more importantly to expand her knowledge of the industry and perfect the services she offers. January 2014 Mz On Point had the privilege of becoming apart of the infamous and world renowned DJ coalition, Team Bigga Rankin & the Cool Running DJs. May 2015 Mz On Point was honored to learn that she had been chosen to receive the Hard Hitta Award at the the 7th Annual SCM Awards which took place in Memphis, Tennessee. While she wasn't able to make the trip to accept the award one of her mentors Bigga Rankin accepted it on her behalf.

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