MANHATTAN (CN) – Rapper Mac Miller faces a $10 million federal lawsuit accusing him of sampling an aspiring musician’s work and using it in his profanity-laced hit “F— ‘Em All” without permission.
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Fledgling musician Patrick Berlinquette claims Malcolm McCormick, better known as rapper Mac Miller, publicly admitted on Twitter that he had sampled Berlinquette’s “The World Around You” in the rap hit “Fuck ‘Em All.”
Berlinquette, a former grant writer for United Cerebral Palsy, says he never gave the rapper or Rostrum Records permission to use his music and has not been paid for his unwitting contribution to Mac Miller’s 2012 “Macadelic” album.
“He uses other people’s music because it is cheaper, easier, and faster than creating his own,” Berlinquette says of the Pittsburgh rapper.
He says Mac Miller tries to defend this practice by claiming his albums are “mixtapes” that he gives away for free. The double-platinum “Macadelic” album was distributed mainly through co-defendant DatPiff’s website, according to the lawsuit. DatPiff offered free copies that were allegedly sponsored by ads.
“Miller seeks to capitalize on the common misconception in copyright law that the people whose music he takes have no remedy if he gives their music away for free,” Berlinquette claims.
“Unfortunately for Miller and the defendants, this is not the law. Just because Mac Miller has become a world famous rap star does not give him or the other defendants the right to reproduce, distribute (even for free), create derivatives or perform music created by others without their permission.”
As of July 15, the “Macadelic” album has been downloaded more than 700,000 times, viewed more than 1.5 million times and streamed more than 450,000 times, according to the lawsuit.
Berlinquette says Mac Miller profits from sampling his and others’ music through ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, among other revenue sources. The rapper is currently on a world tour that was sponsored, in part, by Mountain Dew.
He demands at least $10 million and a jury trial for the alleged willful copyright infringement. His attorney is Brian Levenson with Schwartz & Ponterio.