Apparently this has been out in the open for over a year. Well it’s sorta settled now. Jay-Z will pay Swiss jazz musician 50% of royalties for using his instrumental for “Versus”. Check out some clips of the tracks below.
Bruno Spoerri - "On The Way" (1978)
From the press:
US rapper Jay-Z has agreed to pay half the royalties of one of his songs to a Swiss jazz musician Bruno Spoerri after using his music without consent.
The rapper had denied copying instrumental ‘Lilith — on the way’ in his 2013 song ‘Versus’. But he has now agreed to pay 50 per cent of the royalties to the Swiss pianist and saxophonist, following an 18-month legal wrangle.
The American musician and record producer only admitted using the music without attribution a few months ago, according to reports.
Speaking last year, the veteran jazz musician said legal proceedings could have been avoided with a phone call.
‘In a way I’m flattered that a relatively young rapper takes a sample from an old man, a sample that is about 35 years old,’ he told swissinfo.ch.
‘On the other hand I’m furious because it would have been so simple to clear the sample. All it would have needed was a call or an email to the company and I think it would have been relatively cheap.’
Mr Spoerri, 79, has worked with the likes of Lee Konitz, Hans Kennel and George Gruntz in a career spanning nearly 50 years.
In an illustrious career, he has directed the Zurich jazz festival and music schools in Zurich and Lucerne.
– DailyMail.com March 13, 2015
The following was published before the settlement:
Financially, the two musicians are at opposite ends of the music spectrum.
In 2012, Forbes estimated the net worth of Jay Z – real name Shawn Carter – from music and other businesses at $500 million (CHF450 million). Jay Z and Justin Timberlake won a Grammy award on January 26 for their collaboration on another track from Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Spoerri, who still performs once or twice a month, says what matters most to him is an apology.
“I would like them to acknowledge what happened and say sorry. And then I think it would be fine if they would put my name on the piece and in the end I want to have a part of the money that comes in.”
– SwissInfo Jan, 28 2014
Check out this other Jay-Z post:
Jay-Z vs. Ice-T vs. Trick Daddy – 99 Problems but…
And for more soundalikes that have actually made it to court check out the litigated category.