Beyonce seeks to have lawsuit dismissed
Beyonce’s legal team has asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit in relation to the singer’s hit ‘Formation’.
The 35-year-old star is facing legal action over her use of the late comedian Messy Mya’s spoken-word clips on the single, which features on Beyonce’s acclaimed album ‘Lemonade’.
In February, the performer’s sister, Angel Barre, filed a lawsuit against the chart-topping singer, asking for royalties and damages, as well as for her brother to be cited as a writer, composer, producer and artist on the record.
According to the lawsuit, the samples of two voice clips infringe the rights in Mya’s works, ‘A 27 Piece Huh?’ and ‘Booking the Hoes from New Wildin’.
However, attorney Mary Ellen Roy has moved to have the claim dismissed, arguing that Barre has embellished the extent of her brother’s work in the ‘Formation’ video and live performances.
The attorney wrote: "Among its many references to New Orleans, the Music Video used a total of approximately ten seconds of audio from two YouTube videos featuring Anthony Barré – also known as ‘Messy Mya’ – walking through the streets of New Orleans speaking to the camera and interacting with others along the way.
"About six seconds of that same audio was played at Beyonce’s performances of the Song during the ‘Formation World Tour’."
Roy claims the minimal use of the clips means they fall within the protection of the fair-use doctrine.
And the attorney also says the video producer secured a license for the recordings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The legal expert wrote: "[W]hile beyond the scope of this motion, Pretty Bird licensed the YouTube Videos from Mr. Barré’s family before plaintiff Angel Barré had herself appointed as the administrator of the Estate of Anthony Barré weeks after the Music Video’s premiere – presumably for the purpose of bringing this action."
What’s more, the motion is seeking to remove all defendants who aren’t involved in the video or live performances, meaning Beyonce, Sony, director Melina Matsoukas and Pretty Bird Pictures would be the only parties exposed to risk.