Kanye and Summer’s estate reach copyright settlement

Kanye West and the estate of Donna Summer have reached a settlement over a copyright dispute.

In February, Summer’s husband Bruce Sudano sued the rapper, now known as Ye, for allegedly using an uncleared sample of her 1977 hit I Feel Love on his Vultures 1 album.

Summer’s estate claimed West had gone ahead with using the sample despite them previously declining his request.

West did not comment on the case when asked by the BBC at the time, and has not publicly commented on the settlement.

An lawyer for Summer’s estate claimed earlier this year that an entity called Alien Music, representing West, approached him on 31 January, a week before the release of the rapper’s album, to request clearance to sample the disco hit.

The lawsuit claimed that West had “shamelessly used instantly recognisable portions” of the song, despite their request to use it being “explicitly denied”.

Summer’s lawyers said the estate wanted “no association with West’s controversial history and specifically rejected West’s proposed use”.

“In the face of this rejection, defendants arrogantly and unilaterally decided they would simply steal I Feel Love and use it without permission,” they added.

West has become a controversial figure in recent years – comments he has made have been heavily criticised as far right or anti-semitic.

The lawsuit, filed against the 46-year-old rapper, his record label and collaborator Ty Dolla $ign, asked for damages and an injunction to block further distribution of the song.

On Thursday both parties confirmed they had entered into a settlement agreement and they would each pay their own legal bills.

Lead counsel for the Summer estate, Larry Stein, told Billboard that West has “agreed not to distribute or otherwise use the song, so we got what we wanted”.

Other terms in the settlement have not been made public.

The song was removed from streaming services when it was first released in February and will remain unavailable on official streaming platforms.

Summer, who died of lung cancer in 2012, is best known for hits including Love to Love You Baby and Hot Stuff.

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