Parliament-Funkadelic singer George Clinton has reportedly filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against American band The Black-Eyed Peas.
The lawsuit relates to two remixes of The Black-Eyed Peas popular song Shut Up, which was released in 2003 and sold approximately 8.5 million copies worldwide. Clinton claims that the two remixes – one of which is called Shut the Phunk Up and appears on the band’s latest album, The E.N.D – use a funk sample from Parliament’s 1979 track (Not Just) Knee Deep without his permission.
In the lawsuit, Clinton goes on to allege that The Black-Eyed Peas’ producers asked him to licence the sample in 2009, but he refused. He says that they forged his signature to use the sample anyway, therefore breaching copyright laws. It has been reported that Clinton is seeking millions of pounds in damages.
The band’s producers and record label – both presumably having professional indemnity insurance for copyright issues (due to the volatile nature of the industry they work in) – have faced a number of other infringement lawsuits in the last few months.
Chicago-based singer Phoenix Phenom and Texas songwriter Bryan Pringle both filed copyright infringement suits in October 2010, alleging that Interscope unlawfully used material from their respective demo tapes.