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Bad Bunny, Getty Images.
Bad Bunny. Photo: Getty Images.

Bad Bunny gets sued for copyright infringement

The Puerto Rican and reggaeton icon has been sued for the unauthorized use of three songs in his 2020 hit, "Safaera."

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Last year, at the onset of the coronavirus health crisis, Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny released his song “Safaera” and it quickly became a hit. More than a year after its release, the corporation AOM Music, Inc, has sued the artist and his collaborators for the unauthorized use of three songs sampled within the song. On Monday, September 27, the direct and collective copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in a court in California. 

"This is a copyright infringement action arising out of plaintiffs' ownership of three copyrighted musical works: 'Besa tu cuerpo,' 'Chocha con bicho' and 'Sigan bailando' [collectively, the 'Playero Works'], and defendants' unauthorized incorporation of the Playero Works' hit song 'Safaera,' for which no license or authorization was obtained," the lawsuit states.

The defendants are Bad Bunny and musicians Tainy, Randy, Jowell, Ñengo Flow y DJ Orma, as well as companies Rimas Entertainment LLC, CDA Music Group Inc, DJ Negro Publishing, EMI Blackwood Music Inc, Songs of Universal, Inc, Risamar Publishing, The Royalty Network, Inc, Teynor Music and Universal Songs of Polygram International Inc. 

The corporation has sought damages of up to $150,000 for the infringement, in addition to a ban on the continued copyright infringement of the "Playero Works" and an award of the plaintiffs' legal costs.

Although the argument has been that the song is "a five-minute homage to DJ Playero's genre-defining mixtapes of the 1990s" and "a trip through DJ Playero's underground style, complete with cut and paste samples," the plaintiffs believe Bad Bunny and his collaborators were aware of the need to license the use of third-party works in the track. 

"Safaera" was removed from Spotify on May 14, 2020 for a short period, as the defendants did not remove a sample of the song, and it was only reinstated on the platform after it obtained such authorization. The song is part of the artist's second studio album, YHLQMDLG, the best-selling Latin music album in the United States in 2020, and the most-played album globally on Spotify.

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