Beyoncé may need to get her bills in ‘Formation’

NEW YORK - OCT 15, 2016: Beyonce Knowles attends the TIDAL X: 1015 concert at the Barclays Center on October 15, 2016, in New York (Photo Credit: JStone/via Shutterstock)
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Beyoncé has been slapped with yet another lawsuit.

According to multiple outlets, the estate of Anthony Barre, aka Messy Mya, a New Orleans hip hop artist, has taken aim at the superstar singer, claiming she lifted portions of Mya’s “Booking the Hoes From New Wildings” and “A 27 Piece Huh,” for her Grammy-nominated hit “Formation,” straight off her recent release, Lemonade. Now, Barre’s estate — primarily Mya’s sister — is suing Bey for royalties, to the tune of $20 million. Sony Music and Jay-Z entities are also named in the suit.

As for the content in question, the estate alleges that Beyoncé used the “voice, performance and words from his [Mya] copyrighted works to create the tone, mood, setting and location of the New Orleans-themed ‘Formation’ video and audio recordings,” which can be heard at the opening of the video. According to TMZ, the suit adds that Mya’s camp “received nothing…. no acknowledgment, no credit no remuneration of any kind” for ripping off a small piece from his 2010 video “A 27 Piece Huh?” — in which he says, “I like that.” Now, following several failed attempts to connect with the star, the estate [mainly Mya’s sister] is asking Bey to fork it over to the tune of $20M.

Though it’s pretty obvious that Mya’s voice was sampled for both Bey’s “Bookings” and “Formation” visuals, her team could argue “fair use,” as many believed (following her epic Super Bowl 2016 performance) that the track was a “political statement.” Section 107 of the Copyright Act “provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses—such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research—as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use.” However, observing that Bey’s visual is more so an explosion of images featuring New Orleans underwater, she may have difficulty arguing such a claim.

In 2010, Messy Mya, who had gained a promising YouTube following, was murdered on the violence-stricken streets of his hometown, New Orleans.

As of yet, Bey’s team has yet to respond to the suit. Still, considering “Formation” alone has done wonders for her pockets, we anticipate she’ll have to get her bills in order, sooner than later. What are your thoughts on Beyoncé’s latest legal woes? Sound off in the comment section below.

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