Justin Timberlake and will.i.am are asking a judge to dismiss a copyright lawsuit filed against them over their song Damn Girl.
PK Music Performance executives launched legal action against the hitmakers in February (16), accusing them of sampling Perry Kibble's 1969 tune, A New Day Is Here At Last, on their 2006 hit without permission.
The music bosses own the rights to the funky disco track, written by Kibble, who died in 1999, and recorded by J.C. Davis. They claimed Damn Girl features their song's drum beats and guitar riffs, and various organ and saxophone parts.
PK Music officials are seeking a cut of Timberlake and will.i.am's profits from 2006, but the artists insist they sampled the song legally and argue there is no standing to sue. They also claim the lawsuit was not filed in the correct amount of time and want a judge to dismiss the case, according to Billboard.com.
"Plaintiff's lawsuit seeks to turn Supreme Court precedent and four decades of unbroken Second Circuit law on their head," will.i.am's attorney Robert Jacobs writes in the legal papers. "Just 21 months before Plaintiff commenced this action, the Supreme Court unequivocally stated that copyright plaintiffs are limited to 'retrospective relief only three years back from the time of suit."
"Plaintiff ignores the fact that... before Damn Girl's release, Defendants sought and obtained mechanical and sample use licenses for Day's use from J.C. Davis, who admittedly had originally recorded and released Day in 1969... and from Josh Davis who released a remix of the 1969 recording with J.C. Davis's permission in 2005 on an album identifying J.C. Davis as the composition's sole copyright owner."