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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Laura Snapes

Kanye West and Donna Summer estate reach settlement over unauthorised use of I Feel Love

'Kanye West and Donna Summer.
'Kanye West and Donna Summer. Composite: Getty

Kanye West – now known as Ye – and the estate of Donna Summer have reached a settlement over the alleged copyright infringement of Summer’s 1977 song I Feel Love on the song Good (Don’t Die) from the rapper’s 2024 album Vultures 1, a collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign.

In February, Summer’s widow Bruce Sudano filed a lawsuit claiming that the rappers did not have permission to sample the disco classic. The suit claimed that Ye had “shamelessly used instantly recognisable portions” of the song despite having been “explicitly denied” permission to do so.

“Summer’s estate … wanted no association with West’s controversial history and specifically rejected West’s proposed use,” her lawyers wrote. “In the face of this rejection, defendants arrogantly and unilaterally decided they would simply steal I Feel Love and use it without permission.” The song was pulled from streaming platforms.

On 20 June, lawyers for both parties said that they had “entered into a settlement agreement that is a full and final settlement of all of the claims in the action” and that each party would pay its own legal bills.

Larry Stein, lead counsel for the Summer estate, told Billboard that the agreement did not allow Ye to use Summer’s music in the future. “We did not license the song,” said Stein. “As part of the settlement, they have agreed not to distribute or otherwise use the song. So we got what we wanted.”

The song will remain out of circulation and unavailable on official streaming platforms.

“This lawsuit is about more than defendants’ mere failure to pay the appropriate licensing fee for using another’s musical property,” the Summer estate wrote in the original lawsuit. “It is also about the rights of artists to decide how their works are used and presented to the public, and the need to prevent anyone from simply stealing creative works when they cannot secure the right to use them legally.”

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