The singer, Mitsou, sued the couple for taking her vocals without permission.
The vocals in question, coming from Mitsou’s 1997 song “Gypsy Life on the Road,” can be heard for about 40 seconds (1:00 – 1:40 in the below video), eventually fading out during Beyoncé’s opening verse. According to PageSix, her vocals are used for 1.5 minutes in the 5.5-minute song.
In her lawsuit, Mitsou sought an unspecified amount in monetary damages, arguing that the “blatant unauthorized use of [her] voice for trade purposes is causing irreparable harm and emotional distress.”
In the final ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern dismissed the charges brought forth against Beyoncé and Hov because “Drunk in Love” is apparently not protected by the Civil Rights Law of New York, which was the basis of Mitsou’s argument. Said law only protects a “name, portrait, picture or voice used for advertising or trade purposes without written consent.”
“It is undisputed that the ‘Drunk in Love’ song and video are works of artistic expression and, pursuant to well established law, they are therefore exempted from the Civil Rights Law,” said Kern. Judge Kern also refuted Mitsou’s claim that “Drunk in Love” indeed met the above stipulations because the “song and video were used in advertisements as well as in an HBO series that promoted one of Beyoncé’s tours.
The final decision is somewhat surprising in the aftermath of the “Blurred Lines” verdict, though perhaps Mitsou was misguided in invoking the Civil Rights Law in an effort to prove the alleged violation.
Jay Z recently coughed up 100k to Oscar de la Hoya after losing a boxing bet, so he’ll be glad to come out of his latest lawsuit scot-free.