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Less than a week after Jamie Foxx released his first new song in four years, the Oscar winning actor and musician is being dragged into court over the release. (Update: It’s been dismissed. See below.)
The lawsuit filed by Nontra Records on Thursday against Foxx, DJ Mustard and 2 Chainz over “Party Ain’t a Party,” is a rather atypical copyright lawsuit that centers on the accusation that an instrumental was first given to another artist, J Rand.
According to the complaint, DJ Mustard sent the instrumental to J Rand’s then record company Poe Boy Music Group to serve as underlying material for a J Rand release. The latter artist then recorded the work on his own accord — and Poe Boy “possessed sole ownership in the copyright of the sound recording.”
Nontra Records, the plaintiff, says it acquired all rights when it bought out J Rand’s contract from Poe Boys, and thereafter, paid to mix and master J Rand’s song.
As promotion, California radio stations began premiering J Rand’s “upcoming DJ Mustard-produced single” last November, but Nontra says it failed to reach DJ Mustard on the promotional campaign. He “went radio silent and failed to respond to their advances,” says the lawsuit.
Then, Foxx’s song came out, with credited instrumentals to DJ Mustard, which the plaintiff notes as being substantially similar to J Rand’s work. Not just the instrumental, but the words too.
“Specifically, the underlying material and Jaime Foxx’s lyrics contained in the Subsequent Work are identical to the lyrics sung by J Rand in the sound recording of the Original Work,” states the lawsuit.
Nontra alleges that the “only discernible difference” between the two recordings is the use of 2 Chainz as a guest artist.
The plaintiff is demanding at least $150,000 from the defendants for copyright infringement. The lawsuit also carries a claim of contributory copyright infringement against Fox for allegedly distributing the work widely.
“DJ Mustard did not grant any rights to a third party to exploit the recording, “Party Ain’t A Party, ” and, accordingly, this claim against DJ Mustard has absolutely no merit,” a legal representative for DJ Mustard said in a statement.
Below are both songs and the complaint.
6:07 pm, Sept. 19 Updated with statement from a legal rep for DJ Mustard.
11:00 am, Sept. 22 Nontra Records has dropped its claim that the song is a copyright infringement of the rights it says it owns to J Rand’s work. Here’s the dismissal papers. How the dispute got resolved isn’t clear.
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