Lil Nas X may be on the top of the charts, but he and his record label Sony Music are gonna have to ride to the old town road and right into court for allegedly sampling the song “Carry On” without permission.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the plaintiff, The Music Force, claims the country rapper (real name Montero Lamar Hill) knowingly appropriated parts of the 1992 Bobby Caldwell track without consent or approval.
The complaint further alleges that the “Old Town Road” hitmaker and producer Beats (real name Jeffry Maxwell Newlin) were “motivated by greed and malicious intent.”
The music video for the song, also titled “Carry On,” was posted to YouTube where it had almost 4 million views, according to court records obtained by EW. That version has since been removed from the streaming video platform, but The Music Force estimates there to be over 85 new illegal versions on YouTube using the alleged infringed version of the song. Lil Nas X also distributed his version of the song via SoundCloud and Spotify.
Even though Lil Nas X and Beats were not signed to Sony at the time the song was released, the complaint suggests that if the label had done its due diligence before said deal and acquiring their previous recordings, Sony would’ve discovered that Lil Nas X and Beats had broken copyright law by not getting permission to use “Carry On.”
The Music Force, which claims “it was far more important” that Sony “preserve its opportunity to enjoy millions of dollars of revenues from the success of the career of X,” is asking for $10 million for damages suffered and $15 million for punitive damages as a punishment for their actions.
Representatives for Lil Nas X and Sony did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
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