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Judge Tosses “Juice” Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Eric B & Rakim

Hip-Hop group Eric B. and Rakim and Universal Music Group have emerged victorious in a copyright infringement/forgery lawsuit lodged by soul musician Syl Johnson.

by Mike Winslow

(AllHipHop News) Syl Johnson filed a lawsuit against the group in May of 2015, claiming they stole his 1968 track “I Feel An Urge” and used it illegally in their classic hip-hop single “Juice (Know The Ledge).”

The legal action was part of a pair of lawsuits in which Syl claimed record labels like Universal, La Face, Sony Music and Warner Music had cheated him out of his royalties for the samples which he said have appeared on over 300 records and in video games, movies, DVD’s and other formats.

Syl claimed someone had forged his name on a 2015 settlement agreement, which would have allowed him to continue sueing a number of artists who have sampled “I Feel An Urge” and his other single, “Different Strokes.”

UMG did agree that they owed Syl Johnson some royalties based off of a portion of a small number of units that have been sold in Illinois since 2000, but a judge ruled that Johnson had failed to meet the court’s “constitutional touchstone” of the due process inquiry and that his evidence didn’t meet the court’s standards under the jurisdiction of The Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

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