Jay Z has agreed to pay half the royalties from his 2013 song “Versus” to a Swiss Jazz musician after lifting the melody.

“The rapper had denied copying instrumental ‘Lilith — on the way’ in his 2013 song ‘Versus,’ the UK Daily Mail reports today (March 13). “But he has now agreed to pay 50 per cent of the royalties to the Swiss pianist and saxophonist, following an 18-month legal wrangle.”

Bruno Spoerri, the Swiss musician due to receive the royalties, says the situation both flattered and infuriated him.

“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,” Spoerri said to SwissInfo.CH last January. “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 melody from Spoerri’s 1978 song “On The Way” were used on Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail without permission or attribution. Jay Z did not admit fault until recently. Timbaland and Swizz Beats are credited as the producers for the track.

“In this case, the lifted melody came from a song composed by Spoerri in 1978, with the musician rejecting an initial offer as ‘too low,’” the Daily Mail reports.

Jay Z was previously involved with lawsuits stemming from hit song “Big Pimpin’” as well as an infringement suit from Watch The Throne track “The Joy.”

Jay Z’s agreement to pay 50% of his royalties to the Swiss musician comes on the heels of a Los Angeles courts ruling that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke owe $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye over copyright infringement.
HipHopDX