From Daddy Yankee to Luis Fonsi: reggaeton players are sued for illegal use of dembow

From Daddy Yankee to Luis Fonsi: reggaeton players are sued for illegal use of dembow

A new scandal surrounds the industry urban music after a producer from Jamaica will present a lawsuit against more than 30 artists, producers and record labels for allegedly using elements of “Jamaican dancehall” illegally”, known in reggaeton as dembow.

The demand, for Copyrightcomes from the producers of dancehall reggae Steely & Clevie e includes internationally renowned artists What Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Anuel AA, Karol G, Tainy, Wisín & Yandel… and even Justin Bieber.

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This legal scandal could have significant implications in the world of urban music and especially in the reggaetonbut,what does the lawsuit allege? Here we will tell you.

Lawsuit against reggaeton, what are the artists accused of?

According to the document, which consists of 82 pagesnotes that artists, producers and record labels in the urban music industry have used illegally elements of the “dembow” rhythm in their songs, without previously obtaining the necessary permissions or paying the corresponding rights.

Originally, the lawsuit focused on singer Luis Fonsiwhich was accused of using elements created by the producer in several of his songsviolating the Copyright. However, this lawsuit has been consolidated into a single legal action that includes multiple figures of the urban genre.

According to the site dancehallmagwho had access to judicial records, points out that the defendants are divided into three large groups: El Chombo, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The plaintiffs are Cleveland Constantine Browne (Clevie), Anika Johnson, representative of the late Wycliffe Johnson (Steely)who died in 2009 in New York at age 47, and the company Steely and Clevie Productions Limited.

The demand is importantsince it seeks to protect the copyright of the elements created by Steely & Clevie Productionsand may have implications significant in the world of urban music and especially in reggaeton.

What songs are implicated in the lawsuit?

According to the lawsuit, there are more than 80 songs noted and among the issues that stand out are:

  • Of Luis Fonsi: “Kiss Me” with Myke Towers; “Calypso” with Stefflon Don; “Date La Vuelta” with Sebastián Yatra and Nicky Jam; “Despacito” and “Despacito Remix” with Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber; “Throw Me the Blame” with Demi Lovato; “Impossible” with Ozuna and “Perfecta” with Farruko.
  • Of Daddy Yankee features 40 songs, including hits like “Gasolina”, “Dura”, “Hula Hoop”, “La Rompe Corazones” with Ozuna; “Shaky Shaky”, “Break”, “Whiplash”, “What Happened, Happened” and “You look good”.

The lawsuit shares accusations with artists such as Anuel AA, Wisin and Yandel, Sech and Ozunaand even the record label sonymusic. Another group of sued reggaeton players also includes the international artists Pitbull and the now Panamanian influencer The Chombo.

The case of El Chombo is very interesting, because they accuse him of infringing and illegally using the Fish Market riddim in his song give me your little thingwhere the Jamaican artist Cutty Ranks also appears.

Fish Market, an innovative sound and creator of a genre

Steely and Cleevy believe that the infractions and the attitude of these reggaeton players they were intentional. The disc Fish Marketaccording to the lawsuit, represented a groundbreaking breakthrough in Reggae music at the time, as it was markedly different from other works done by Steely and Clevie.

The riddim featured a combination of elementswhich included a drum, a box and a programmed hi-hat that played a one bar pattern; instruments of percussion; and a bass note synthesized b-flat.

According to information released by Dancehall Magthe lawsuit describes that the rhythm had “a tambourine that sounds in the whole measurea ‘synth tom’ playing on beats one and threeY drums playing a roll at the end of every second measure and free improvisation on the pattern for the duration of the song”.

The document presents as support material some images of staves that include transcriptions of the tracks instruments, comparing the fish market rhythm with several of the songs flagged as infringing.

“The claimants are informed and believe, and now allege, that Defendants induced, participated, aided and abetted knowingly and benefited from the reproductionillegal distribution and publication of one or both infringing works”, can be read in the lawsuit filed in the District Court California, United States.

Artists claim that the rhythmic pattern is free to use

For their part, artists from urban genre as the producer and influencer El Chomboknown for topics like Give me your little thing, Chacarrón and The Flying Catcriticized the lawsuit, alluding that the Fish Market is more about a rhythmic pattern.

Through his Instagram account, the producer pointed out that he did not You will not be able to make a video or talk about the lawsuit due to the trial you are facing.

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“You can register a letter or a composition with notes and musical chords, but not a rhythmic pattern of percussion”, wrote El Chombo.

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