Beyonce's lawyers have responded to a $20 million copyright lawsuit over her Formation video, insisting her sample was "reasonable and justified".
The 2016 hit features spoken word segments from the work of the late social media celebrity Messy Mya, real name Anthony Barre.
Officials for the funnyman's estate, led by his sister Angel Barre, filed legal papers in February (17), demanding royalties, damages, and a credit for her brother as a writer, composer, producer, and artist on the track.
In the promo, the late Barre can be heard saying, "What happened at the New Orleans (sic)", and, "B**ch, I'm back by popular demand", and his sister claims the samples infringe upon the rights of two of her brother's comedy works. His voice does not feature in the audio version of the Lemonade album track.
In July (17), Beyonce tried and failed to have the lawsuit dismissed, and now her legal representatives are arguing it was "reasonable" to use Barre's voice because the feature was only a few seconds in length and doesn't require compensation, according to TMZ. They also argue the Constitution's First Amendment, which guarantees free speech, pertains to the case.
Formation, the lead single from Lemonade, was a huge hit for the 36-year-old superstar, and she even performed the track during last year's (16) Super Bowl half-time show.
Messy Mya, who was also an aspiring rapper, died in 2010 at the age of just 22, after he was shot multiple times in New Orleans, Louisiana.