Kanye is being sued for copyright infringement in respect of his recent hit “Bound 2”.  You may have seen Bound 2’s tremendous video clip, which contains footage of wild landscapes, Kanye pretending to ride a motorbike, and Kanye pretending to ride a motorbike with a half naked         Kim Kardashian.

Bound 2 features numerous samples, as does much of Kanye’s music, however, it is being alleged by a singer of the Ponderosa Twins Plus One, Ricky Spicer, that Kanye has sampled the song, “Bound” without obtaining his permission.

You can’t really miss the sample as it contains the following lyrics - “Bound, bound, bound to fallin’ in love”, and can be heard through much of the song.

What exactly is Ricky Spicer claiming?

After doing a little background research, it would seem that:

  • Ricky Spicer did not write “Bound” - Bob Massey and Robert Dukes did; and
  • Bob Massey and Robert Dukes are credited as co-writers of “Bound 2”.

So, what’s Ricky Spicer’s claim?

As a vocal performer on “Bound”, but not a writer, Spicer is entitled to protect his performance which is embodied in the sound recording, and then reproduced in the sample, from any unauthorised use or distribution. If his permission wasn’t sought, as he claims, he may be entitled to an injunction and damages.

Spicer may also be able to bring an action for a breach of his moral rights, because he has not been identified as a performer on “Bound 2”. For more on moral rights, see our previous article here.

What you need to know?

Performers have rights! If you’re going to sample a song, be safe and get permission from everyone involved in the particular sample (as you may need it).

This means potentially from:

  1. the owner of the recording from which the sample is taken (usually the record label);
  2. the writers of the music;
  3. the writers of the lyrics (if the lyrics are being sampled);
  4. and the performers on the recording (from whoever performed the sample taken).