Beyoncé and JAY-Z are facing a copyright infringement lawsuit over “Black Effect,” a song from their 'Everything is Love' album.
According to Pitchfork, it all started when Dr. Lenora Antoinette Stines, a revered Jamaican artist best known for her dance choreography, was asked to gather dancers for The Carters' promo video in March 2018.
The crew had her sign a “standard” clearance form “that everyone had to sign” and was also asked to voice her opinions on love in the visual, and “was then told not to ‘worry, because the agreement was only going to be utilized so that her voice could be used in the Video.’” She further states that she was stopped from sending a photo of the agreement to her son, an attorney in South Florida, for review.
Stines continues to claim that despite their original reassurance that her recording would only be included in the promotional video, her vocals were used as the intro of the album track, “Black Effect.” Reports mention that her name is not included as a writer on Spotify, but appears under “Additional Vocals” and “Associated Performer” on TIDAL. The suit reads, “To the shock, horror and chagrin of Dr. Stines, the Project featured the unauthorized exploitation of her vocals on a song known as “Black Effect” (the “Recording”). This discovery left Dr. Stines feeling violated.”
Stines is now seeking damages totaling more than $75,000 USD, a writer’s credit on “Black Effect,” a publishing percentage and attorney’s fees.