Kanye West was sued today for copyright infringement over the Donda 2 song “Flowers,” Billboard reports and court documents confirm. Ultra International Music Publishing is suing West and the creators of the Stem Player, alleging that a repeated sample of Marshall Jefferson’s 1986 Chicago house song “Move Your Body” was unauthorized.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, claims that West acknowledged to Jefferson and UIMP that he sampled “Move Your Body” without permission and that the sample is “repeated at least 22 times.” It continues: “Despite this acknowledgement, West has not ceased distribution of ‘Flowers.’ Defendants’ conduct is willful and deliberate. Defendants know and have been informed that they do not possess a license to utilize the Composition in the Unauthorized Work, and yet continue to willfully infringe in blatant disregard of UIMP’s rights of ownership.”
UIMP is seeking damages, profits, a cease in distribution, and a jury trial. Pitchfork has reached out to Ye’s representatives for comment.
Shortly after the release of the Stem Player, Kanye claimed to have earned $2.2 million from device sales in one day. The resulting album, released only via the Stem Player, was ruled ineligible for Billboard chart consideration due to its limited release on the player thanks to Billboard’s standing policy about how album merch bundles count toward the albums chart.