Published Dec 10, 2014TufAmerica's lawsuit against a monosyllabic sample used in Jay Z's 2009 hit "Run This Town" has been thrown out of court.
As reported earlier in the fall, Jay Z was sued over the use of an uncleared sample of Eddie Bo's 1969 tune "Hook & Sling Part 1." More specifically, he was sued over the use of a single word: "oh."
The sample is used once during the song, for a fraction of a second and Hova's legal team argued: "Even if one short word — or the recording thereof — could possibly be deemed original enough to warrant copyright protection, this fleeting and generic phrase is neither quantitatively nor qualitatively significant."
Well, their logic seems to have worked before the law because the lawsuit was dismissed by Federal Judge Lewis Caplan in New York yesterday (December 9).
"The word 'oh' is a single and commonplace word. Standing alone, it likely is not deserving of copyright protection... As this motion may be resolved on other grounds, however, the Court need not decide whether the word 'oh,' as it appears in the Composition, is protectable," said Caplan [via Billboard]. "Were the Court to find 'oh' quantitatively significant to 'Hook & Sling Part I' or to Eddie Bo's performance thereof, it in effect would read the quantitative significance element out of the substantial similarity test. This the Court will not do."
TufAmerica previously sued Kanye West over a sample from the same song, which appeared on 2010's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.