In February, the family of late New Orleans rapper/comedian Messy Mya sued Beyonce for using audio clips of Mya in her song “Formation” without permission. Mya’s phrases used in the song are “What happened at the New Orleans”, and, “B**ch, I’m back by popular demand.”
The comedian’s sister Angel Barre demanded her brother (real name Anthony Barre) be named as a writer and producer on the credits, along with seeking royalties and damages.
However, Beyonce’s lawyer Mary Ellen Roy has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Roy argues the amount of audio only equals 10 seconds, which falls within the protection of the fair-use doctrine. Roy’s argument is that Angel appointed herself head of her brother’s Messy Mya’s estate after the release of the video in order to sue.
Roy states in her motion, “While beyond the scope of this motion, Pretty Bird (production company) licensed the YouTube Videos from Mr. Barre’s family before plaintiff Angel Barre had herself appointed as the administrator of the Estate of Anthony Barre weeks after the Music Video’s premiere – presumably for the purpose of bringing this action.”