Drake To Testify In Music Sampling Trial - Music News
In 2014, the Hotline Bling rapper was sued by executives at music publishing and management company Hebrew Hustle and the estate of jazz musician Jimmy Smith over the use of a clip from a spoken word recording of Jimmy on Drake's 2013 hit Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2.
The Canadian star responded by launching a counter-suit against Hebrew Hustle and its founder Stephen Hacker for damaging his brand by allegedly putting his face and name on the firm's website to make it appear as if he had worked with the company and endorsed their work, while Hacker's online biography allegedly claimed the manager and his clients had "a heavy hand" in the creation of Drake's music.
In May (18), it was confirmed that the case would be heading to trial and it is due to begin in New York in December. According to The Blast, Hebrew Hustle's legal team filed their witness list this week and Drake had been named as one of the main people they want to take to the stand. The documents note that Drake will give his testimony live, meaning he will testify under oath in front of a jury.
In regard to the music sample allegation, Drake and his label Cash Money Records won that case on fair use grounds last year (17), but the decision was appealed.
Both parties had tried to prevent the long-running case from heading to trial by filing motions requesting summary judgments instead, but U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ruled in May that it was a matter that should be decided at a trial.
He ruled that although the musician had established the defendants used his image and identity without consent, questions of whether they commercially benefited from their apparent association with him should be a matter for a jury.