Beyoncé is being sued over her “Drunk In Love” video and it’s extremely dumb
Beyoncé has had a spectacular year with her Grammy-nominated album Lemonade, the wildly successful Formation World Tour, and the launch of her Ivy Park workout line. Also, she just continued being Beyoncé for another year. But it looks Bey also has to deal with trash lawsuits between her glamorous moments. Designer Dwayne Walker is suing Beyoncé for using the Roc-A-Fella logo chain in her “Drunk In Love” video. Yes, the video from her Beyoncé album that came out three years ago. The infamous Roc-A-Fella symbol was used by her husband Jay-Z for his former recording label of the same name and was often featured on chains worn by artists on the label. Beyoncé was even seen wearing the label in a 2003 Jay-Z video while he rapped that the hottest chick in the game was wearing his chain.
Now, the label is defunct and Jayoncé have moved on to become a music supercouple, but Jay-Z brought out the old chain for nostalgia’s sake in the “Drunk in Love” video. Despite the logo’s quick cameo in the video, Walker, who claims to be the designer of the logo, insists it is prominent in the video and wants her to take the video off YouTube or pay him for using his design, aka, just pay him because obviously she is not taking down that video.
Oddly, Jay-Z is not a part of this particular lawsuit despite being the person wearing the chain and being a featured artist on “Drunk in Love.” This is probably because this same guy has tried to sue Jay-Z over the same issue a few years ago. In 2012, Walker accused Jay-Z and his former business partner Damon Dash of copyright infringement.
He claimed the business moguls owed him 7 million dollars in unpaid royalties for designing the now iconic symbol. Walker said he came up with the logo in 1995 during the early days of Roc-A-Fella Records and signed a contract for the logo, which magically went missing back in 1998. The suit was dismissed in September 2016 by a judge who said there was a lack of evidence in the case and he waited too long to start a copyright claim. So, he cannot collect royalties from the logo’s use.
Since Walker couldn’t win against Hov, he is deciding to give it another shot by suing Beyoncé. But he doesn’t realize the mess he has gotten himself into by messing with the Queen Bey. He may survive the sting of the Beyhive, but his chances of succeeding in court are looking pretty slim. As an artist, Beyoncé has been in several legal battles concerning intellectual property. The most recent suit stemmed from her HBO Lemonade visual special when Beyoncé was accused of stealing elements of filmmaker Matthew Fulks’ short film Palinoia. The case was quickly dismissed when the judge deemed that the creative projects had no similarity.
Her magical lawsuit winning powers aside, this suit makes absolutely no sense. There is no way he will win a suit for a logo that he doesn’t legally own against a woman who is not even wearing the chain in a 3 year old video. The chain is most noticeable when the logo is over Jay-Z’s shoulder during the 5:19-5:28 mark – certainly not enough to be noticeable to the average video watcher. Plus, who is looking for a Roc-A-Fella chain when Beyoncé is on the screen?!?
I mean, the upside here is now we all have a reason to watch this video again today, and that’s never a bad thing.