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‘Formation’ copyright claim: one knocked down and another appears

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 08 February 2018

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Beyoncé of international pop stardom has been rather unlucky with her hit song ‘Formation’, as she was subject to a copyright infringement claim.

However, following our last update on the Reading Room, the copyright claim filed by the estate of Anthony Barre has been dismissed after Beyoncé fought on following the dismissal of her motion to dismiss.

Beyoncé succeeded on her claim that she had an appropriate license to use the voice of Barre in the song, and the claim was dismissed with both parties’ consent.

However, the drama is not over yet as another copyright claim has been filed.

The second claim was filed by Kimberly Roberts, who was the star of ‘Trouble the water’ a documentary about Hurricane Katrina. The documentary was nominated for an Oscar in the US.

Roberts filed the claim against Prettybird Pictures who are the makers of the ‘Formation’ video.

Roberts claims that while a portion of the documentary use was authorised in return for royalties, there royalties have not been received. Also, the authorisation was not given in respect of use in Beyoncé’s concerts and other music videos.

It is not clear how much Kimberly Roberts is claiming and whether it will match the $20 million claim of the first suit but it certainly seems Beyoncé has not caught a break with this song.


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