In music, copyright infringement claims are fairly common. Earlier this year, recently-disbanded indie rock veterans Yeasayer hit Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd with a copyright lawsuit. The band claimed Lamar and The Weeknd had lifted a section of their 2007 song “Sunrise” to use in their Black Panther soundtrack number “Pray For Me.” Now, The Weeknd has officially responded to the lawsuit, denying Yeasayer’s claims.
In the lawsuit, Yeasayer claimed that a “distinctive choral performance” from their 2007 track was sampled for “Pray For Me.” According to the band, their song’s influence is “immediately recognizable” and they aimed to seek profits from the Black Panther song. But The Weeknd has now officially responded to the lawsuit with his own legal statement.
The Weeknd denied Yaesayer’s copyright claims in official court documents, according to NME. The singer said his song “does not capture any actual sounds” from the indie rock band’s music: “Each and every allegation contained in the complaint not specifically admitted herein is denied. The sound recording of ‘Pray for Me’ does not capture any actual sounds from the sound record, ‘Sunrise’.”
This copyright suit wasn’t the first time Lamar faced legal action over his work in Black Panther. In 2018, the rapper was hit with a lawsuit by a British-Liberian painter who claimed her artwork was copied for Lamar and SZA’s “All The Stars” video. The case was eventually dismissed out of court with Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment.