Shenseea and her record label Interscope Records have reached a settlement with American visual artist Stephanie Sarley in a copyright infringement lawsuit over the Jamaican singer’s 2019 music video for her song Foreplay.
In a ‘Notice of Settlement’ obtained by DancehallMag, Sarley’s attorneys, Pietz & Shahriari, LLP, notified the California court where the matter was being heard that a “settlement to resolve all claims at issue in this case has been reached.”
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Sarley had sought up to US$450,000 in damages in the suit filed on October 21, 2022.
In the notice, which was filed on Wednesday, June 14, Sarley requested that the Court suspend all scheduled court dates and maintain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement until formal dismissal paperwork is filed, anticipated within a 60-day timeframe.
The California-based artist, whose provocative work has been featured in the Guardian, had initially targeted Shenseea and Interscope (a subsidiary of UMG), alleging that nearly forty seconds of footage from three of her unique fruit video clips were unlawfully incorporated into the music video for Foreplay.
The clips in question, Sarley claimed, were subtly altered in tone or hue and used in the music video without her permission.
In May 2023, the lawsuit expanded to include Marco ‘FrameXGod’ Ruiz, the director of the music video, after Shenseea and Interscope denied the allegations and claimed that, if any infringement had occurred, it wasn’t their responsibility as it would have been the fault of other persons or entities over which they had no control.
Sarley’s lawsuit had sought an unspecified award of damages and profits, or alternatively, statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each of her three clips allegedly used without her consent.
Produced by Rvssian, Foreplay was released in October 2019, after Shenseea signed with Interscope Records and his Rich Immigrants imprint in May of that year.
The original video was removed from YouTube after Sarley complained about the alleged infringement on Instagram.
In early December 2019, Shenseea released an edited version of the Foreplay video, devoid of Sarley’s fruit clips. It now stands at 20 million views on YouTube.
This marks the second copyright infringement lawsuit Shenseea has settled this year.
In March 2023, she resolved a dispute with New York-based producer Anastas ‘Pupa Nas-T’ Hackett, who had claimed that she released Lick with rapper Megan Thee Stallion without his consent. Lick had sampled a 2002 remix of Denise ‘Sacey Wow’ Belfon’s Work, which was produced and co-written by Hackett.
Hackett, who had sought over US$10 million in damages, profits, and legal fees, had told DancehallMag that he could not reveal the actual settlement figure because of a confidentiality agreement.
“This is just business, it’s over and everyone is agreeable and satisfied with the outcome,” the producer had said.