H.E.R. is being sued for copyright infringement amid Super Bowl LIV performance.
The R&B singer was hit with a $3 million lawsuit, which alleges that her song “Focus” samples pianist and songwriter Andre Sims’s track “Endless Minds” without permission. According to reports, Sims filed the suit against Sony Music Entertainment, H.E.R., the song’s producer Darhyl “DJ” Camper, and co-writer Justin Love.
While he has now resorted to it, Sims says he actually tried to avoid an ugly court fight and has been reaching out to the singer and her team for a while. When that proved futile, the songwriter ended up suing for compensation. According to a letter submitted by Andre Sims, the decision came after months of trying.
“I had hoped to avoid court and a heated public outcry, but after months of trying to get them to do the right thing, they left me with no other alternative and my fans want me to fight back for what is rightfully mine in this copyright to the song,” he wrote in the letter.
What will help Andre’s case is the fact that the producer of “Focus” Darhyl “DJ” Camper, once spoke about “Endless Minds” being the inspiration behind the song in an interview. It immediately exposes access, which can sometimes be a drag to prove in infringement cases.
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) February 9, 2021
“I’m on Instagram, I’m scrolling…and then it’s a guy that I follow – crazy piano player,” the producer says in the interview. “He had did this – it’s like a little warmup he had. And I’m like, ‘Man, this is crazy!’ And it’s kind of similar to like the ‘Focus’ melody so I took that and it inspired me to play it like that, change it a little bit, put a beat, slow it down…BOOM!”
Sims is suing for copyright infringement and injunctive relief to the tune of $3 million. He also wants the court to order the defendants to keep accounting records of the song’s profits and establish a trust for its royalties.