Beyonce’s latest court battle will determine how musicians use a digital sampling of a sound recording. Last week, District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown denied Bey's motion to dismiss the copyright claim on fair use grounds.
At the start of Beyonce’s track, “Formation,” you’ll hear rapper Anthony Barre's - better known as Messy Mya - strong, sassy voice saying, “What happened at the New Orleans,” “Bitch, I’m back by popular demand” and "Oh yeah baby. I like that.” Those spoken words are from his pieces "A 27 Piece Huh?" and "Booking the Hoes from New Wildings" which makes it hard for Beyonce's legal team to fight the copyright infringement lawsuit over her hit "Formation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brown found that found that Beyonce's use of the clips was not transformative and that, although the samples were short, it was a "qualitatively significant" use.
"Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged in their complaint that Defendants did not change or alter the 'expressive content or message' of Anthony Barre’s YouTube videos, decision, which is posted in full in the link below. "[T]he Court concludes at this stage of litigation that 'the copyright law’s goal of promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts' would not be better served by allowing Defendants’ use of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted material without authorization or compensation than by preventing it."