Daddy Yankee, Black Eyed Peas, Sony Music Move to Dismiss Fraud Charges in ‘Bailar Contigo’ Copyright Infringement Battle

Bailar Contigo copyright infringement
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Bailar Contigo copyright infringement
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Photo Credit: Ardian Lumi

Daddy Yankee, Black Eyed Peas, and Sony Music have filed a notice of move to dismiss the third cause of action for fraud in a copyright infringement complaint levied at the hit, “Bailar Contigo.”

The lawsuit was filed in March 2024 by Denmark’s Iceberg Records in a California federal court. The lawsuit alleges that the trio illegally sampled the 1994 dance track, “Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop).” The track was recorded in 1995 by Scatman John, who passed away in 1999.

The song belongs to the plaintiff on the master side, with Iceberg Records also owning 50% of the work’s publishing rights. Ahead of the release of the Black Eyed Peas’ Elevation, the plaintiff and defendants allegedly hammered out a deal for the use of the “Scatman” composition in “Bailar Contigo.”

On July 7, the defendants filed a motion with the court notifying the judge that in August, they will move to dismiss the third cause of action for fraud in the complaint. “This motion is made on the grounds that pursuant to Rule 9 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Complaint fails to state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud, and therefore fails to state a claim.”

The track features Daddy Yankee and has reached more than 70 million streams on Spotify. “We hereby agree to the use of extracts from the composition,” the original agreement states, witha 75% compositional stake and a 5% master income interest in “Bailar Contigo” awarded to Iceberg Records as part of that agreement. The original lawsuit alleges that the Black Eyed Peas, Daddy Yankee, and Sony Music “lied” about not utilizing the record in an effort to avoid paying this licensing fee.

Iceberg Records sued for direct and contributory infringement as well as fraud, seeking damages, attorney’s fees, and more from the defendant. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 2, 2024. Neither Iceberg Records nor Sony Music have offered a comment on the pending action.