Chance the Rapper has been sued for copyright infringement for allegedly stealing music included in his 2012 song “Windows.” Jazz musician Abdul Wali Muhammad filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago federal court claiming the rapper took a portion of his 1979 song “Bridge Through Time” and used it in “Windows.” The plaintiff, who’s suing for unspecified damages, wants the song to stop being distributed.
Muhammad, formerly known as Eric P. Saunders, states in his eight-page lawsuit that he composed “Bridge Through Time” in 1979 and registered the copyright for it shortly thereafter. The musician goes on to claim Chance the Rapper knowingly stole parts of his song and included them on his single “Windows,” which was among the songs featured on the rapper’s debut mixtape 10 Day. “Chance’s copyright infringement was willful,” the lawsuit alleges. “Chance knew that he did not have permission to use any part of Muhammad’s copyrighted song, yet he used a significant portion of ‘Bridge Through Time’ in his song ‘Windows.’”
The lawsuit continues, “Chance also distributed his song ‘Windows’ knowing of the infringement, or acting in willful disregard for whether the song was the subject of the copyright.” Muhammad further explains that he only became aware of the alleged copyright infringement in April, but never heard back from Chance the Rapper’s camp when his lawyers reached out in May to “cease further infringement of the copyright.” The musician’s lawsuit is asking a federal judge to order the rapper and anyone doing business with him to stop “copying, distributing, performing, selling or offering to sell Chance’s song ‘Windows.’”
In addition to being a jazz musician and composer, Muhammad also practices criminal and civil rights law in New York. Gossip Cop has reached out to a rep for Chance the Rapper for a comment about the copyright infringement lawsuit, but we’re waiting to hear back.
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