Chance the Rapper Sued for Copyright Infringement

Anna Tingley | September 14, 2017

Chance the Rapper was sued Tuesday (Sept. 12) for alleged copyright infringement over his song "Windows" off his debut mixtape 10 Day that came out in 2012.

The plaintiff, a New-York based jazz musician and composer named Abdul Wali Muhammad (formerly Eric P. Saunders) claims the song contains portions of the Lonnie Liston Smith song "Bridge Through Time," which Muhammad filed a separate copyright claim for in 1979, a year before it was released.

Muhammad claims that he never granted Chance the permission to use the sample, and is seeking damages for the infringement. In his eight-page complaint, he also requests a court order from a federal judge to stop Chance from “copying, distributing, performing, selling or offering to sell Chance’s song ‘Windows.'”

Muhummad, who now works as a criminal and civil rights lawyer, says that he first became aware of "Windows" in April 2017 and reached out to Chance's management in May to request a cease of infringement but did not receive a response. 

It is clear that Chance's song contains samples from a remix of "Bridge Through Time" by Apollo Brown, who is a credited producer on Chance's song, but Muhammad's ownership of the material remains unclear.

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