Brace yourselves, people. The Beyoncé post has arrived. And now, let us take a moment to indulge in our own desires:
“OMG. BEY?!?!?!?! YYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍 GIT IT MOMMA! YAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS! DON’T MESS WITH NO BEY HIVE! NUH UH! I AIN’T SORRY! I AIN’T SORRY! OMG YOU GUYS CAN WE TALK ABOUT LEMONAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE!”
Now that that’s out of our system, let’s get to business.
If you want a legend in the music industry of today, Beyoncé is probably somewhere near the forefront of your mind. What can’t she do? She drops surprise albums that sell like hotcakes. Her maternity photo shoot has gone viral. She can act and she has her own clothing line. And have you seen her live performances? Beyoncé can do no wrong!
Well, unless you happen to be the estate of the late rapper Messy Mya.
Parkwood Entertainment, Sony Music, Eardrummers Entertainment, and, yes, Queen Bey herself have recently found themselves with a $20 million copyright infringement lawsuit courtesy of Messy Mya’s estate. The suit states that Beyoncé exploited the late rapper via unauthorized use of voice, words, and “important and recognizable portions” of protected works.
(For those of us who don’t recognize the name Messy Mya, he was a New Orleans-based rapper/YouTuber who met his unfortunate end in a Seventh Ward shooting).
Nothing, as of yet, has been confirmed. Some view the sampling as homage to the late New Orleans rapper. The estate, however, tends to disagree, having stated in the suit that unsuccessful attempts to contact Beyoncé had been made before filing.
Now this is an interesting case. Recently, I’ve been talking about indie and legendary artists getting screwed over by the major labels. We officially have an indie artist getting screwed over by a legendary artist. In theory, this has been possible for quite some time. But we have now gone from theory to IRL.
Cue the Bey Hive running to their queen’s defense, lashing out at anyone who speaks remotely negatively of Beyoncé, becoming one of the most godawful annoying fandoms on the internet. They only raise the question: can someone be too famous to obey copyright law? So what if Messy Mya never made it mainstream? His works were protected.
I’m really interested as to how this case will play out. Of course, the late rapper’s estate is the underdog, but that isn’t to say they can’t make waves. They are invoking action from a woman whose every move is iconic.
Now, of course, Beyoncé has the label on her side, so she gets their legal resources, money, and the benefit of their being slimy toads. She also gets the honor of blurring the debate on artists’ rights. Rights holders’ rights, not so much. And, if she is found guilty of copyright infringement, I hope she gets the fine. Personally, I don’t care how famous an artist is, theft of intellectual property is still theft.
Honestly, I have no idea where this is going to go. Beyoncé is so big, this may get swept under the rug. Also, we’re dealing with Sony here, so God only knows if we’re going to see anything good.
However, I will say that I am genuinely surprised that there have been so many copyright cases appearing in the news lately. I firmly believe that we are going to see copyright law revision in the future and that future is getting closer and closer. But, for now, we have to ask if a person can become so famous that they are above the copyright law. My hope for the present and future is a resounding no.
Sorry Beyoncé, I just don’t agree. Wait. Hold up. Sorry, I ain’t sorry.
If you’d like to see the article that inspired this post, click here.
Once again, this has been the view from 214.