Hungarian singer Mitsou sued the couple for using her voice in the first 90 seconds of the song. The sample is from her track, “Gypsy Life on the Road,” which was released in the United States in 1997. She was seeking monetary damages because “blatant unauthorized use of [her] voice for trade purposes is causing irreparable harm and emotional distress.”
In her decision to dismiss the case, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern says that “courts have consistently held that Civil Rights Law does not apply to works of literary and artistic expression.”
“It is undisputed that the ‘Drunk in Love’ song and video are works of artistic expression and, pursuant to well established law, they are therefore exempted from the Civil Rights Law,” Kern continues.
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