Los Angeles – Beyoncé and Jay Z have beaten a lawsuit over their song Drunk in Love because the track is a “constitutionally protected work of art”.
Monika Miczura, also known as Mitsou, had accused the couple of using a sample from her song Gypsy Life on the Road – which was released in the US in 1997 – on the single without her permission and had sought unspecified damages.
However, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern dismissed the case because the singer was suing under the state Civil Rights Law, which only protects a “name, portrait, picture or voice used for advertising or trade purposes without written consent.”
She wrote: “Courts have consistently held that Civil Rights Law does not apply to works of literary and artistic expression.
“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.”
Mitsou had argued the Civil Rights Law applied to the song and video because they were used in HBO ads and a series promoting Beyoncé’s concert tour but the judge insisted that use “does not vitiate their character as works of artist expression.”
The Hungarian Roma singer had sued for unspecified monetary damages claiming the “blatant unauthorised use of her voice for trade purposes is causing irreparable harm and emotional distress.”