Gather round, Beyhive. Your queen’s under attack.
Beyoncé is being sued by clothing designer Dwayne Walker over the use of the Roc-A-Fella logo in her 2013 music video for “Drunk in Love”. According to court documents reviewed by Billboard, Walker claimed that his deisgn provided the basis of the logo for Jay Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke’s record label in 1995. And now he’s coming after the queen supreme for “impermissibly and prominently displaying” the image in her video.
In the video, which racked up 400 million views on YouTube, the logo appears briefly in her hand. So briefly that you’re sure to miss it too – it’s on Jay’s infamous Roc chain hanging around his neck and it shows up for less than a second at minutes 5:20 and 5:28 in the video. Check it out below:
Though it’s Jay’s chain and he’s the one seen wearing it, Beyoncé is the only one named in Walker’s suit. Talk about pettiness, huh?
Walker first tried to sue the Universal Music Group bosses, Jay-Z and his business partner Damon Dash in 2012 for $7 million (£5.6 million) in unpaid royalties. All parties maintained an in-house designer came up with the logo – and not Walker – and a judge dismissed the case in September, citing a lack of evidence.
‘This leaves only plaintiff’s own self-serving testimony that he drafted the contract, that he and Dash signed it, and that he lost track of it in 1998,’ US District Judge Andrew Carter wrote in his ruling.
Judge Carter also said waiting five years to file a copyright claim was too long – and he should have brought proceedings against Roc-A-Fella within a three-year window.
It’s not the first time Beyonce and Jay-Z have faced litigation over Drunk In Love. Back in December last year, the Manhattan Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit from Hungarian artist Monika Miczura, who claimed her voice was sampled in the track.
The suit was first reported by TMZ. Beyonce has yet to issue a statement on the matter.