Drake wins big in copyright case.
Drake landed a legal W after a judge decided his sample of "Jimmy Smith Rap" fell under fair use, rather than copyright infringement. The lawsuit was initially filed by the James Smith Estate after Drizzy used the 1982 spoken-word piece as the introduction of the Jigga-assisted "Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2."
The Estate claimed that Smith had no love for hip-hop, and therefore would not have approved of the sample. They went on to argue that if Drake wanted to emphasize the staying power of "real music," (implied by Smith's recording to be jazz, and jazz exclusively), he should have used the one specific line. However, U.S. District Court judge William H. Pauley III seemed to believe that the sample use was appropriately re-purposed, issuing the following statement (as provided by The Hollywood Reporter):
"Far from being extraneous to 'Pound Cake’s' statement on the importance of 'real' music, Defendants’ use of the lines describing the recording of Off the Top serve to drive the point home. The full extent of the commentary is, in this Court’s view, that many musicians make records in similar ways (e.g. with the help of A&R experts or the stimulating effects of champagne), but that only 'real' music — regardless of creative process or genre — will stand the test of time."
Suffice it to say, Drake and his camp walked away with a victory on their hands. THR also reports that Drake's camp is particularly pleased, considering that these types of copyright cases are often difficult to win.