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Jay Z Pays Swiss Composer Bruno Spoerri 50% Royalties from "Versus" Track

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Mar 16, 2015 09:21 AM EDT

He's got 99 problems and a legal battle is one of them. With an 18-month lawsuit in the can, rapping heavyweight Jay Z agreed to pay 50 percent royalties from his 2013 track "Versus" to Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri.

Spoerri confirmed the payment to the ATS news agency. The pianist and saxophonist wrote the original piece in 1978 and felt profits from the piece were due to his estate.

The 79-year-old jazz composer claimed that Jay sampled one of his instrumental tracks, "On the Way," without permission. And as far as the court is concerned, that is exactly what happened.

Having been offered an out-of-court settlement, the artist felt that the nominal fee for his track was unsatisfactory, as it was reported in the Swedish newspaper The Local.

Jay Z has been the center of other infringement suits in the past as well. Currently, he is in the grips of an eight-year-old suit over a sample of an Egyptian tune that he allegedly used without permission on the track "Big Pimpin'."

For the entertainment industry, this also comes just after another legal battle over Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" came to a close. As the court decided, the Marvin Gaye estate was awarded $7.4 million when a California jury ruled the duo ripped off Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up."

It is apparent this will not affect Jay's finances too significantly, but the suit nonetheless proves that copyright law still has an impact on artists and their rights to their own creation.

Check out the track "Versus" below.

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Tagsjay-z, Bruno Spoerri, Versus, On the Way, ATS, Swiss composer, Big Pimpin, Royalties, Copyright, Blurred Lines

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