Hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" was a commercial success with tons of radio play. Now, Wiz Khalifa is facing a lawsuit over the song filed by Pennsylvania songwriter Max Gregory Warren.
Warren says that Wiz Khalifa stole his song. Warren claims he wrote a song in November 2007 called "Pink N Yellow."
Warren filed for copyright protection, and received a certificate dated February 25, 2008. Wiz Khalifa later released the similarly titled "Black and Yellow." Warren wants $2,375,000 in punitive and actual damages for copyright infringement.
Copyright protection is granted to individuals who create original works, such as songs. Owners of copyrights are given exclusive rights to reproduce the work, create derivative works, and distribute copies of the work.
Songwriters who sign with recording labels often give up their copyrights. Usually, songwriters will receive a portion of the royalties as compensation. It's essentially a business transaction. And it allows songwriters to get compensation for their compositions.
But Warren alleges that Wiz Khalifa and his publishers didn't give him a cent.
He claims that Wiz Khalifa and his producers heard "Pink N Yellow" then decided to copy it. Warren's complaint says they "engaged in a scheme to defraud" him, reports All Hip Hop.
Also named in the suit were PGH Sound, EMI Music Publishing, Rostrum Records, Warner Music Group and Atlantic Recording Corporation.
If Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" really did infringe on Warren's copyright, Warren will have to prove it in court. A court may need to blast "Black and Yellow" and "Pink N Yellow" to see if there really are similarities between the two songs.