Drake Wins Fair Use Lawsuit After Sampling a Jimmy Smith Song

The 2014 copyright infringement case is over.

By Robyn Collins

A judge has ruled in favor of Drake in a 2014 copyright infringement suit.

The estate of jazz musician Jimmy Smith filed the suit when the rapper opened “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” with a 35-second sample from the song, “Jimmy Smith Rap.”

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U.S. District Court judge William H. Pauley III determined that the usage of the clip was covered under fair use, reports Pitchfork.

The line for Smith’s song goes, “Jazz is the only real music that’s gonna last. All that other bull—- is here today and gone tomorrow. But jazz was, is and always will be.”

The Drake version cut down the words to include, “Only real music’s gonna last. All that other bull—- is here today and gone tomorrow.”

Judge Pauley explained that Smith’s phrase “is an unequivocal statement on the primacy of jazz over all other forms of popular music,” while Drake’s edit turns it into “a statement that ‘real music,’ with no qualifiers, is ‘the only thing that’s gonna last.’”

The official ruling:

“The full extent of the commentary is, in this Court’s view, that many musicians make records in similar ways (e.g. with the help of A&R experts or the stimulating effects of champagne), but that only “real” music—regardless of creative process or genre—will stand the test of time. Accordingly, this factor favors a finding of fair use.”

Boi-1da and Jordan Evans, who produced the track, were also named in the lawsuit alongside Drake, Cash Money, Universal, EMI, Republic, Apple, Amazon, and others.

Check out the two songs below:

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