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14 March 2015

Jay Z Ordered To Pay Up For Uncleared “Magna Carta Holy Grail” Sample

Jay Z, Timbaland & Swizz Beatz to pay 50% of earnings from “Magna Carta Holy Grail” cut “Versus” to the artist sampled on the track.

If you’re as big as Jay Z, you can’t get away with uncredited samples, even if they appear on very brief interlude tracks. On Magna Carta Holy Grail’s “Versus,” which lasts for all of 51 seconds, producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz sampled Swiss musician Bruno Spoerri without giving him credit, and now them and Hov are going to have to pay up.

All three have been ordered to pay 50% of the song’s earnings to Spoerri, who spoke to a Swiss website about the dispute:

“In a way I’m flattered that a relatively young rapper takes a sample from an old man, a sample that is about 35 years old. On the other hand I’m furious because it would have been so simple to clear the sample. All it would have needed was a call or an email to the company and I think it would have been relatively cheap.”

The legal proceedings took 18 months to sort out, but the 78-year-old will now be receiving a nice check as a result. listen to the original song and “Versus” below.