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Kanye West sued by Donna Summer’s estate over copyright

The estate of the late American singer Donna Summer has accused rap star Kanye West of sampling her hit song I Feel Love without permission for his new album.

In a lawsuit filed in California, Summer’s widower Bruce Sudano alleged West and Ty Dolla $ign – real name Tyrone Griffin – had used the song after the estate “explicitly denied” their request to use a sample on their collaborative album Vultures 1.

The lawsuit said the pair used “instantly recognisable” parts of Summer’s song in their new track Good (Don’t Die), despite having rejected their proposal due to West’s “controversial history”.

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The court documents suggest the Summer estate was approached on 31 January to request clearance of the song, which was denied, but the album was released a week later on 10 February.

During this time, representatives for West and Griffin approached Summer’s record label to request clearance of the master recording of the song, which was also denied, court documents allege.

The song was streamed “millions of times” before platforms including Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music were able to remove it, while West and Griffin have performed the song at recorded live concerts with clips online amassing millions of views.

The estate is requesting maximum damages, equating to $150,000 “for each act” of alleged infringement.

Donna Summer, pictured during a performance in Chicago in July 1983

“It is about protecting Donna Summer’s own musical legacy and one of popular music’s most influential and ground-breaking songs,” the court documents said.

Summer, a five-time Grammy winner, died in 2012 at the age of 63 but was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year after her death.

The iconic I Feel Love – a landmark track across musical genres – was recorded in 1976 and released in 1977. It was co-written by Summer, the Italian composer and producer Giorgio Moroder, and the British songwriter and producer Pete Bellotte.

Source: Press Association

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