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Supreme Court Rules Against Warner Music In Producer’s Battle Over Flo Rida Song

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with a Florida music producer in a legal battle against Warner Music over a song by the rapper Flo Rida.

Resolving a case that music companies had called “exceptionally important,” the justices ruled by a 6-3 vote in favor of Sherman Nealy, a Miami producer who sued Warner over claims that Flo Rida’s “In the Ayer” featured an unlicensed sample from the 1984 song “Jam the Box.” Nealy sued Atlantic Records, Warner Chappell and Artist Publishing Group in Florida federal court in 2018, arguing he had never actually granted them a valid license for his “Jam the Box” to be sampled in Flo Rida’s “In the Ayer,” which reached No. Warner quickly appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, warning that the “discovery” approach would unfairly expand the “financial exposure” of a copyright defendant and potentially lead to frivolous lawsuits that aimed to “extract settlements.”

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