May 23, 2013
George Clinton, Black Eyed Peas end song lawsuit
The funk pioneer George Clinton has settled a lawsuit in which he accused the pop and hip hop group Black Eyed Peas of using part of one of his songs in remixes of its hit song "Shut Up" without permission.
The settlement followed two weeks of mediation, and was revealed in filings this week in Los Angeles federal court. Terms were not disclosed, but the mediator Gail Killefer in a court filing said the settlement "fully" resolved the dispute.
Lawyers for Clinton, Black Eyed Peas and that group's label, Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Black Eyed Peas' members will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie are also defendants in the case.
In his December 2010 lawsuit, Clinton claimed that the group used part of his 15-minute, 1979 song "(Not Just) Knee Deep" in remixes of "Shut Up," which they had first released on the 2003 album "Elephunk." Clinton also said another remix was used in the deluxe version of the Peas' 2009 album, "The "E.N.D."
"(Not Just) Knee Deep" had appeared on the 1979 album "Uncle Jam Wants You" by Clinton's group Funkadelic.
The Peas have claimed that they licensed the music, and were at most "innocent infringers," court papers show.
Clinton settled after a May 7 ruling by US District Judge Otis Wright, who oversees the case, that narrowed his claims for damages.
Wright concluded that Clinton had not shown proof of how much money he had lost or the Peas had gained as a result of the alleged copyright infringement.
A trial had been set to begin on June 5. Wright on Friday scheduled a hearing for August 13 if a final settlement papers are not filed by then.
The case is Clinton v. Adams et al, US District Court, Central District of California, No. 10-09476.