Just when it seemed like things were going so well for Lil Wayne and his record label Universal (a massive hit single, more than a million albums sold in its first week of release), they get slapped with a copyright infringement suit from the Rolling Stones’ publishing company, claiming Wayne ripped off the Stones’ “Play With Fire” for his own “Playing With Fire.”
We’ve listened to both. The opening of Wayne’s track and its chorus, cited below, do sound similar to the Stones’ song. But Wayne’s “Playing With Fire” differs widely from the Stones’ song after that. It almost seems more like he sampled “Play With Fire,” which he still has to credit and pay for, but that’s not the same thing as covering the song altogether.
Still, the publishing company that administers the Stones’ early recordings, Abkco Music, has always taken a hard line on sampling. And if Abkco is successful in proving their claim, Wayne could lose a lot of the revenue from this song. Just 10 years ago, Abkco attacked The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” for sampling too much of an orchestral version of the Stones’ “The Last Time.” Now Abkco gets all of the royalties from that song.
Reuters via Billboard.biz: A musical publishing company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones’ song “Play With Fire” sued U.S. rapper Lil Wayne on today (July 24), saying he released an altered version of the song without permission.
Abkco Music Inc accused Lil Wayne, his artistic collaborators and his record company, a unit of Universal Music Group, of copyright infringement and unfair competition.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan seeks unspecified damages. Lil Wayne’s “Playing with Fire” is a clear derivative of the Rolling Stones song with the original lyrics and music altered in a recognisable way, Abkco said in its lawsuit.
Both tracks below (Warning: Wayne’s song is seriously NSFW):
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