Representatives for Jay-Z, Timbaland, BMG, and Warner Chappell seek arbitration for complex copyright case.
The lawsuit was filed over a ’60s guitar riff by Ernie Hines, who alleges the duo used the composition without his permission. The riff is featured in “Paper Chase” and “Toe 2 Toe.” Hines says he heard both songs for the first time in 2018 and filed a lawsuit against the two artists – and BMG Rights Management and Warner Chappell Music.
A ruling by Judge J. Paul Oetken rejected defendant’s arguments that the use doesn’t qualify as infringement. A report from a musicologist helped the judge reach that conclusion. The report cites the two hip-hop songs “contain identical or near-identical pitches and rhythmic values as the opening bars of Hines’ single.”