JAY-Z, Ginuwine, Timbaland just collectively beat a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against them by soul singer Ernie Hines.
According to reports made by Reuters on Monday (Sept. 25), the lawsuit alleged that “Paper Chase” by JAY-Z and “Toe 2 Toe” by Ginuwine, which were both produced by Timbaland, sampled the introduction of Hines’ 1969 song “Help Me Put Out The Flame (In My Heart)” without permission.
When Hines first sued over the songs in 2019, the defendants fought that the “part was not copyright eligible because it was taken from a stock musical phrase in a 1914 work, ‘Mysterioso Pizzicato,’ that has been used in at least 28 other songs and become synonymous with movie villains.” Court documents state that New York Judge Paul Oetken agreed and dismissed the case, saying that “the Introduction borrows from a heavily used work that is in the public domain, and it adds only material that is not original enough to be copyrightable.”
Oetken continued to argue that “Authors and artists cannot claim copyright in ‘the raw materials of art,’ such as ‘previous creative works that have fallen into the public domain,’ as well as ‘the basic building blocks of music, including tempo and individual notes.'”
Timbaland is known to have a long list of collaborations with both Ginuwine and JAY-Z. In fact, the Virginia producer recently engaged in a friendly debate with Pharrell about who has the better catalog with the Roc Nation boss. “‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder!’” the “Happy” hitmaker began, praising the 2003 The Black Album that Timbaland produced. “What are we doing? ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder.’”
Timbaland replied, “I gotta think about you, because you’ve done so many.” Pharrell then added, “You know why you’re stuck? You’ve done so many classics that you’re just going through your Rolodex right now!” before Timbaland could say, “No! I’m going through your Rolodex! It’s so many!” The debate continued as Pharrell called his fellow Virginia native the “king of JAY-Z records… Timbo, the king,” which Timbaland replied, “No, Pharrell, the prince!”
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