Federal Court of Appeals Gives Drake A Win in 'Pound Cake' Sample Lawsuit

February 4, 2020

 

I can here “Good God almighty, like back in the old days” playing in my head as soon as I think of the song. Pound Cake by Drake has always hit the spot, especially when the beat drops. Drake recently won a lawsuit that alleged he violated copyright by sampling a 1982 spoken-word recording, "Jimmy Smith Rap," in his song, "Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2," off his Nothing Was the Same album. 

 

On Monday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the judgment was "fair use.”According to Billboard the judges said, "'Pound Cake' does just that," states today's summary judgment order. "The message of the 'Jimmy Smith Rap' is one about the supremacy of jazz to the derogation of other types of music, which — unlike jazz — will not last. On the other hand, 'Pound Cake' sends a counter message — that it is not jazz music that reigns supreme, but rather all 'real music,' regardless of genre."  

 

They also added,“’Pound Cake' criticizes the jazz-elitism that the 'Jimmy Smith Rap' espouses. By doing so, it uses the copyrighted work for 'a purpose, or imbues it with a character, different from that for which it was created.'”

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