Kanye West Reportedly Hit With New Copyright Lawsuit Over "Gold Digger"

Kanye West and others now facing a copyright lawsuit due to the alleged use of a sample on "Gold Digger."

G.O.O.D. Music rapper Kanye West has yet again found himself in the middle of a copyright infringement lawsuit thanks to his 2005 single “Gold Digger.” AllHipHop.com reports that Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor, the children of the late David Pryor, are suing West and a number of labels for allegedly sampling Pryor’s 1974 record “Bumpin’ Bus Stop.”

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

Others targeted in the copyright/RICO lawsuit include Roc-A-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, and even video game publisher Activision.

“Gold Digger” features singer/actor Jamie Foxx and is produced by Kanye West who originally crafted the beat for fellow rapper Shawnna.

The specific amount Steward and Pryor are seeking in their lawsuit is unclear, but it is reported to be in the millions.

RELATED: Kanye West Sued Over Illegal Sample On "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"

41 Comments

  • oskamadison

    The song "Bumpin'Bus Stop" is actually by a group called Thunder And Lightning, of which David Pryor was a member and of course, that's him sayin' "Get Down". Kanye is far from the first artist to sample or scratch (how it was actually used in this case) vocals from that song. The most familiar uses would be Tupac's I Get Around, the "step up" vocal part, which itself was sampled from Premier's scratches of the vocal on Gang Starr's "Step In The Arena". Also (showin' my age a lil bit) Positive K's "Step Up Front" was the first to sample it, vocals and beat. If they are successful with this lawsuit, which I doubt they will be, this will open up a hellified Pandora's Box for sample lawsuits. Just think if James Brown's estate decided to really go in on ALL uncleared samples??!! Every Hip-Hop album from '87 til' I'll say '90 had at least 2-3 songs with samples from his music. Hell, Marley Marl alone would be bankrupt.

  • nigga creep

    That's all these weak ass niggas like kangaye n harry fraud do is bite peoples music n then just throw some ragged ass drum loop over the shit. The niggas cant compose nuthin from scrath that's dope. I feel bad for you niggas that think a real musician goes around jackin music like that

  • Mortis

    song about kardashian

  • NM

    A Sample can be used for educational purposes or if not being sold..But the fact that he got paid from using the sample..it is only right to pay the original owner..wow..He claim he ballin ..If you ballin clear the samples then..damn

    • nope

      bach... lol. listen thats all fine but we are talking about hiphop which was build on sampling. even those luther beats or any other allegedly composed hiphop beat are using sampled drums and loops!!!! in some cases even sampled synths. especially if your using the maschine. there is an art to sampling as long as your not using the original piece of music exactly the same. plus it gives it a nostalgic sound at the same time bringing an older piece of music into a new generation. there is alot of older artists i wouldn't know about if not for 90s hiphop. i love hearing an original song and being like oh shit wutang used that. it makes me like older material. older generations should be proud of that. it aint jackin, its showing respect for your influences. play that key or sample an old one.... play that horn or sample an old one. big deal. I believe it was bb king who said it best... I don't think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow.!!!! with that being said, the original composer still deserves his recognition and payout for use.

    • NM

      No...How about you listen to Bach or any classical artist..shit manny fresh was not the greatest producer in the world ..but he wasn't a sample jacker .. ..Writing music is a real skill bro...Taking what has already been done is easy..I know because I do it myself..But I will never try to sell it ..I rather COMPOSE my own music from scratch..Plus where is the pride in your work..how do you feel proud using someone else work in your music...Lazy ...If you borrow ..Pay back ..losers

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I'd also recommend listening to the best examples in the last year that I heard - "Westside, Right on Time" and "Compton" by Kendrick and "Never Can Say Goodbye" by Raekwon. If you're specifically attacking Kanye - listen to the entire Graduation album; that requires a massive amount of skill to basically change every sample's genre completely (especially the Laura Nyro one)

    • Don't be an idiot

      ^^ firstly, nobody samples as much as they used to, and secondly, using a sample in a song still requires a certain amount of imagination to make it sound good, and imagination does take skill. Go listen to fantastic vol 2 by slum village and tell me that isn't skill. I challenge u.

    • NM

      Or Here is a thought..How about stop sampling all together ..and get your dumb ass in the studio and come up with some original music for a change..oh i forgot you don't have any real skills...hahahahahahahah

  • Anonymous

    ok i looked up the sample and its about 1 second long. its the "get down" vocal sample you hear with some dj cuts on the beat. YUR GONNA SUE FOR MILLIONS BECAUSE OF THAT????!!!! I hate the legal bullshit around sampling. Some people got no respect for hip hop.

    • Anonymous

      That's cause niggas need to learn to compose shit by theyself instead of stealin other peoples shit n just throwin some drums over it. Niggas like ant banks, klc, mannie fresh, luger, didn't have to sample n steal song after song like this nigga do

  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule had never met Beyonce until recently when they shared an elevator together. Five minutes later she was pregnant with twins.

  • Lil Kow Nots

    He should have followed the sampling laws or paid up. Real musicians worked hard to create those sounds and they deserve to get paid! Greedy greasy chested chipmunk

    • Anonymous

      Really????? So it takes a lot of work just to say "get down"? The reason the sample probably wasn't cleared is because the sample they're talking about is insignificant. People don't go to listen to gold digger just to hear the sample "get down"

  • www.marlosbeats.com

    I like how when a sampled song gets bigger than the original, lawsuits pop up...can't sample nothin these days

  • RC

    There really, really, REALLY needs to be a statuate of limitations on how long after a party such as an artist/label can sue over a sample because this is just getting ridiculous this shit came out like 7 1/2 years ago!

    • marcelr12

      The statute of limitations on copyright music is 70 years, if year original artist does not have any children or next of kin, Hence why nobody can be sued for using Christmas songs.

  • The Decatur Dictator.

    7 years later? Man give it up. People are thirsty. That song played for 12 months straight on every station almost in America, why now?

  • dentaldamboy

    Kanye says that Wayne is the greaest rapper. Big Sean rolls with YMCMB all the time. Common and Kid Cudi leave GOOD. Cons gets dropped from GOOD. Looks like Pusha T will be without a home soon.

  • IMhO

    wasnt golddigger like 5-7 years ago? just not filing a lawsuit..def seems like a broke desperate move on their parts..wont win

  • Ja Rule

    one time Ja Rule brought his fists to a gun fight and still came out on top

  • Ja Rule

    it sucks kanye will never be able to outsell Ja Rule

  • Ja Rule

    Ja Rule is so proud of his heterosexuality that he took cock in the ass to show how comfortable he is with himself

  • Ja Rule

    Once Ja Rule gets out of prison he's gonna show you rap niggas how its really done

  • Ja Rule

    P.I.L 2: Niggas in prison coming november 2013, stash your cash and cop that shit nigguh

  • Ja Rule

    Ja Rule Could make a gold digger settle down.

  • PF215

    it was really filed by ray j, he wants his gold back.

  • Rationale

    A SAMPLE is there, the infringement they're hoping to win it on is the (get down) voice in the background when Ye says "get down". However, I think the lawsuit will most likely not succeed, for the same reason that it's hard to win a classical music copyright lawsuit - you have to prove that it's YOUR recording/song that's been sampled. In other words, they have to prove that it was David Pryor, saying "get down" taken from a recording of the song "Bumpin' Bus Stop", rather than just taken from an already licensed free royalty sample pack (though it's possible that it was this sample and it was licensed to a free royalty pack) or a studio ad-lib, or any other possible source.

    • DOLZAN

      I don't know if I'm honest. It's within reason assuming they're accessible. I can't help but think if it was that easy, then similar cases over compositions as recent as "Gold Digger" would've been sewn up with ease (and there are other implications I can think of) There are other legal questions and implications in the case, should it go to court - 1. What is the, indeed, should there be a, statutory limit on how long the track alleged to contain an uncleared sample has been released? "Gold Digger" is 7 and a half years old, it's one of the most played songs in recent memory, and it's hard to believe they hadn't noticed - so why sue now? 2. Assuming it's not the relevant sample, and given that they have sued, is it possible to copyright phrases? Especially ones as generic as "get down"? There was a case where The Rolling Stones sued a British electro band for quoting lines from "Ruby Tuesday". They won. On the other hand, Ludacris won a case that said using the phrase "like that" wasn't. 3. Assuming they can do what was suggested and use the digital files as evidence in the case. That would set a Helen-of-Troy precedent for sampling lawsuits, and a whole host of them would come in, because they'd think they couldn't lose. And they'd probably be right.

    • The Decatur ATL BOI

      Do you think they (pryor's family) can subpoena the producer and studio engineer and the protools files for verification? Pro Tools or any other DAW's will leave a digital footprint even if you erase all the files associated with the sampled audio wave.

  • firealarm

    they'll never win this. Ridiculous.

  • OUCH!

    it samples Ray Charles "I Got a Woman". these people are clowns.

  • Kanye West

    The Irony.. I'm going out with a Gold Digger now!

Most Discussed News