March 12, 2012 7:19am PT by Erin Carlson
Kanye West, Jay-Z Settle 'Watch the Throne' Illegal Sampling Lawsuit
Kanye West and Jay-Z have settled a federal lawsuit from blues and soul musician Syl Johnson over a sample of his song, "Different Strokes," on their joint album Watch the Throne.
Last October, Johnson sued the rap superstars, in addition to UMG and Def Jam, for sampling "Different Strokes" on the track, "The Joy," sans permission, payment or credit. West and Jay-Z denied the allegations in December, questioning whether Johnson's song was indeed protected by federal copyright since it was recorded before 1972 (when laws safeguarding song recordings took effect).
Johnson alleged that West attempted to sample "Different Strokes" on his most recent solo album, 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but couldn't get clearance.
According to Rolling Stone, legal papers were filed in Illinois last week dismissing the case due to a settlement between the parties; no further details were made public.
Johnson has previously slapped Cypress Hill with a $28 million lawsuit for copyright infringement but a court judged it moot because the music sampled was pre-1972 and therefore not protected under the Copyright Act.