Kanye West reached a settlement with a Hungarian rock singer who sued the hip-hop artist for sampling his song on the 2013 track ‘New Slaves’ without permission.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but musician Gabor Presser, who described himself as a ‘living legend’ in Hungary, said: ‘I am very glad it is over.’ Presser’s $2.5million lawsuit claimed 85 seconds of his 1969 song ‘Gyongyhaju Lany,’ which he wrote while he was a keyboardist in the band Omega, was used without permission or royalties.
‘New Slaves,’ the first single on West’s No. 1 album Yeezus, was released in 2013 as a critique of racism. To promote the album ahead of its release, West projected a video of New Slaves on 66 buildings around the world.
Presser said he did not know his 1969 song, which he called ‘one of the most beloved pop songs ever in Hungary and across Eastern Europe’, had been used until West’s own lawyers contacted him.
They pressured him to give his permission within 24 hours, he said – apparently due to the timeline for the video projections.
When Presser asked for more time, he said West’s lawyers refused to negotiate ‘in good faith,’ and instead sent him a $10,000 check with the expectation of an agreement.
The Hungarian artist said he did not accept the advance and continued trying to reach an arrangement with West’s lawyers.
Presser later filed a $2.5 million lawsuit seeking damages for copyright infringement.
The parties settled on Monday, two days before West was scheduled for a deposition. A notice that they agreed to dismiss the case was made public on Thursday in Manhattan federal court.
‘The matter has been resolved amicably,’ Peter Cane, a lawyer for Presser, said on Friday.