Kanye West settled out of court from $2.5 million over a copyright claim for his Yeezus track, “New Slaves.” The Chicago rapper was embroiled in a lawsuit sent by a Hungarian composer, who said that that his 1969 song was used in the hip-hop song’s outro without his permission.
Gabor Presser’s song ““Gyöngyhajú Lány” (“The Girl with Pearly Hair”) was used for nearly a minute-and-a-half, and was interwoven with vocals from Frank Ocean. According to Page Six, Presser said that he found out about the sample in May 2013, a mere few days after the song started gaining notoriety after being used in promotional campaign for West’s concert tour. That’s when Presser received an email from West’s attorney where they said they were willing to work out a deal regarding to sample in a desired timeframe of 48 hours.
“West’s attorneys were apparently concerned about the upcoming video projection performances of the New Composition scheduled for May 24, 2013,” the report reads. “However, rather than cut a quick deal or jeopardize West’s continuing promotion, Presser claimed he allowed the rapper to use the song a second weekend — provided they come to terms afterward. Instead, Presser alleged West’s attorneys sent him a $10,000 advance and asserted it obligated him “to consent to West’s unlawful use of the original composition.””
Presser did not take the advance, and the copyright case has been ongoing in federal court since last May. Although the lawsuit was for $2.5 million, West and Presser have reached an out-of-court, undisclosed settlement. Use of any part of a song without the composer’s permission is copyright infringement.