TUSCUMBIA — FAME Enterprises Inc. has filed a suit against Kanye West, his recording and music label, and musician Pusha-T, claiming they lifted a sample from a song recorded at the Muscle Shoals studio.
The suit claims the song "Come Back Baby," which is on Pusha-T's album "Daytona" that was released May 25, 2018, contains "repeated, unauthorized unlicensed samples" from the song "I Can't Do Without You."
The suit was filed May 24 in Colbert County Circuit Court by the Tuscumbia firm of Hall, Tanner and Hargett on behalf of FAME.
George Jackson recorded "I Can't Do Without You" at FAME before 1972, which makes it exempt from the Copyright Act of 1972, according to the filing.
The suit lists defendants as West, Pusha-T and UMG Recordings, which owns the Def Jam Recordings label and sub-label of Def Jam Recordings. Def Jam and GOOD also are listed as defendants.
The portion of "I Can't Do Without You" and "Come Back Baby" that are in question in the suit have the same following lyrics, which appear to be from the same recording that features Jackson:
"Never have I been locked up in the world of misery
I need you darlin' to set me free
Come back, baby, try me one more time
Ooh, baby, I'm 'bout to go out of my mind
The suit states "Come Back Baby" lasts 3 minutes, 27 seconds with the Jackson sample comprising 1 minute, 13 seconds of it.
"This means that over 35 percent of the entire sound recording 'Come Back Baby' is comprised of unauthorized, unlicensed samples of 'I Can't Do Without You,'" the suit declares.
It further states that "Come Back Baby" is "about drug addiction and the money made from selling drugs," and that the plaintiffs would not have authorized licensing the song "for such a use under any circumstances."
The filing also asserts, "Defendants have a pattern and practice of willfully sampling sound recordings without consent or permission."
It calls for a judgment against the defendants "for disgorgement of profits, compensatory, consequential, incidental and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the trier of fact in this case, plus statutory fines, costs, interest and expenses."
The plaintiffs demand a jury trial in the case.