More than 14 years after his death, J Dilla is at the center of a copyright lawsuit.
Rolling Stone reports the late producer and rapper is accused of illegally sampling 10cc's 1974 record "The Worst Band in the World" for his 2006 track "Workinonit." Dilla's record appeared on his sophomore album, Donuts, which dropped just several days before his death. According to legal documents obtained by Rolling Stone, the plaintiffs—Music Sales Corporation and publisher Man-Ken Music, Ltd.—initially filed the complaint back in March and amended it in April. They claim Dilla, Universal Music, E.P.H.C.Y. Publishing, and label Stones Throw Records did "not obtain or seek to obtain" the proper authorization to sample 10cc's song, despite years of warning.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants were informed about the copyright infringement as far back as 2014, about two years before Stones Throw dropped an anniversary edition of Donuts. They also say the defendants licensed "Workinonit" to Netflix several years ago. The track was used in two 2017 Dave Chappelle specials, Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin.
The plaintiffs say "Workinonit" is a "work derivative of the Composition." They are now seeking unspecified damages and are demanding the defendants to "destroy or deliver up for destruction all materials in Defendants’ possession, custody, or control used by defendants in connection with Defendants’ infringing conduct," according to Pitchfork.