Jay Z Now Has Only 98 Problems

The Hollywood Reporter reports that hip hop mogul Jay Z has prevailed in a copyright ownership lawsuit brought by Chauncey Mahan, a sound engineer who worked on some of the artist’s early recordings.  Mahan’s case, filed in the Southern District of New York, was dismissed earlier this week on the grounds that Mahan’s claims were time-barred by the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations, as the recordings in question were created in 1999 and 2000.  Mahan was asserting that his participation in and creative contributions to certain early recording sessions with Jay Z entitled him to a co-ownership interest in the recordings.  The court disagreed, finding that plaintiff Mahan “had reason to know of his alleged injury in 2000, if not earlier,” due to the constructive notice provided by Jay Z’s copyright registrations of the works, the commercial success of the recordings, and the conspicuous absence of any royalty payments, and thus could and should have brought suit within the three-year statute of limitations.  Because Mahan sat on his rights for fourteen years before making his claims, he effectively waived any ownership interest that he might have been entitled to under the Copyright Act.  Read the full article here, and the court’s decision here.  Reposted from The Hollywood Reporter.