Beyoncé and Jay-Z face a copyright infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles for allegedly using a monologue voiced by an uncredited Jamaican choreographer for their 2018 track “Black Effect” without permission, according to court papers obtained Wednesday.
What We Know:
- In the suit, filed late Tuesday in federal court, dancer L ’Antoinette Stines alleges she spoke on tape of her feelings about “unconditional love” at the request of the celebrity couple. She contends she was told her thoughts would be used only in a promotional video.
- Stines says she is renowned in Jamaica for “her artistry and wisdom” – and to that point, she says the Carters sought her out in March 2018 to provide dancers for a video promoting their upcoming tour. Beyoncé and Jay-Z then asked if she would record her musings for the clip, Stine alleges.
- According to the lawsuit, she says she was shocked when she heard “Black Effect” – from The Carters’ Everything is Love album – because the whole first minute of the track is just her voice.
- The documents claim a contract for her services was only thrust in front of her on the day of the shoot. When she inquired into the terms of an agreement she was asked to sign before recording her monologue, she alleges she was told that the agreement “was just a standard document that everyone had to sign”. She was then told not to worry because the agreement was “only going to be utilized so that her voice could be used in the video,” the suit advises.
- Stines says that when she asked if she could take a screen shot of the agreement to send to her attorney son, she was “explicitly told that she could not send a picture of the agreement to anyone to review”.
Stines is suing the two mega-artists for copyright infringement and violating her right to publicity, and she is also seeking damages to the tune of $75,000. The Carters have yet to comment.