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Flo Rida Copyright Clash: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Music Producer

Friday, May 10, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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A music producer was granted the chance to seek damages spanning more than ten years for a sample used in a well-known Flo Rida song by the Supreme Court in a historic decision on Thursday.

The case involving Sherman Nealy's 2008 hit "In the Ayer," by Flo Rida, which was featured on shows including "So You Think You Can Dance," was decided by a 6-3 majority. Nealy said that while he was incarcerated, his former partner, without his knowledge, had agreed to have their song "Jam the Box" sampled. In 2018 Nealy filed a lawsuit seeking damages going back to the song's release.

The legal disagreement was on how to interpret copyright law, which allows for a three-year window of time to file lawsuits following a breach or its discovery. The record company Warner Chappell said Nealy could only collect royalties for a maximum of three years. The Recording business Association of America and other business groups have asked the Supreme Court to step in because of the rift this retroactive damages issue has created among appellate courts.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority judgment in which the Court emphasised the lack of a time limit on monetary recovery and held that copyright owners with legitimate claims are entitled to damages without regard to time. Attorney Wes Earnhardt for Nealy praised this ruling, saying it clarifies a critical legal issue.

Three conservative justices disagreed, though, with Justice Neil Gorsuch suggesting that copyright holders should have had to prove fraud in order to pursue earlier infractions.

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