On Friday, music producer Terrance Hayes named Kendrick Lamar, Terrace Martin, Josef Leimberg and Top Dawg Entertainment in a copyright infringement lawsuit. The case stems from the production of Kendrick’s 2017 track “Loyalty.” Read the full suit below.
Hayes claims the track was lifted from a song he recorded in 2011 of the same name. In the complaint, Hayes says Martin “copied the entire composition” of the track, “including title, melody, harmony and rhythm.” The case alleges Martin, who had a “close working relationship” with Leimberg–who worked with music Hayes for eight years under the alias LoveDragon, slowed the original track through a synthesizer, combining it with another sample to disguise it.
Hayes is seeking all profits from Kendrick’s track, in addition to the equivalent of all his losses that came as a result of the infringement, and “any other monetary advantage gained by the Defendants through their infringement, the exact sum to be proven at the time of trial.”
In the suit, Hayes alleges Martin had access to his personal computer, which contained the original “Loyalty” track as well as a remix from 2016.
Kendrick Lamar won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance for the track, which also featured Rihanna. In addition to Kendrick and Rihanna, Martin, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, Kid Capri, and more are credited as songwriters. The track was certified two times platinum in the United States and Canada.
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