Kanye West has been facing a potential default judgment after he failed to respond to a lawsuit from Boogie Down Productions. The lawsuit was over a sample clearance that Ye failed to obtain when his Donda track ‘Life of the Party’ featuring Andre 3000 appeared to use a sample from the pioneering hip-hip outfit BDP’s 1986 track ‘South Bronx’.
In addition to that, Phase One Network, who owns the song’s copyrights, sued Ye and Kano Computing, who had developed the Donda-linked Stem Player. Phase One Network also went after Def Jam Recordings for their involvement in copyright infringement. Ye was said to have not had the sample cleared, even having sent a request for it.
When the sample was not cleared, it was released on the Stem Player anyway. The court documents were obtained by All Hip Hop (per Hot New Hip Hop) and showed that the Clerk of Court for New York’s Southern District had submitted a case for default on Wednesday, March 8th, although Phase One had requested it as far back as January.
The documents stated, “I, Ruby J. Krajick, Clerk of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, do hereby certify that this action was commenced on November 7th, 2022, with the filing of a summons and complaint, a copy of the summons and complaint was served on defendant Ye by delivery of a true copy of each to defendant Ye, and proof was therefore filed on January 26th, 2023.”
They continued, “I further certify that the docket entries indicate that Defendant Ye has failed to plead or otherwise defend the action. The default of Defendant Ye is hereby noted. The West parties retracted the licensing request despite having already incorporated ‘South Bronx’ into the Infringing Track, distributed the infringing track through the Stem Player and its associated website, and incorporated the Infringing Track into the Infringing Advertisements.”