Beyoncé fails in attempt to block $20m lawsuit over ‘Formation’ sample

Madame Tussauds wax model of the star recently caused uproar

Beyoncé has failed to block a $20 million lawsuit over a sample she used of deceased YouTube personality Messy Mya.

Mya, real name Anthony Barré, was murdered in 2010. A sample of a YouTube video of Mya’s from earlier that year features at the start of ‘Formation’. It sees Mya saying “What happened after New Orleans?” and “Bitch, I’m back. By popular demand”.

Earlier this year, the estate of Mya filed a £20 million lawsuit over allegedly unauthorised usage.

Now, a Louisiana federal judge has denied a motion presented from Beyoncé’s legal team to dismiss the copyright claim on fair use grounds.

According to Billboard, U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown found that Barré’s sister Angel successfully made a case that Beyoncé’s use of the clips was “not transformative,” adding that the clips were “qualitatively significant” enough to the song to hold up the lawsuit. Brown added that Beyoncé’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is “viewed with disfavour and is rarely granted.”

“Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged in their complaint that defendants did not change or alter the ‘expressive content or message’ of Anthony Barré’s YouTube videos, but rather used unmodified clips without adding anything new,” wrote Brown in her 66-page decision.

Watch Mya’s original video and Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ clip below.

Meanwhile, Madame Tussaud’s recently reportedly replaced their Beyoncé figurine after it was called out for being noticeably more light-skinned and lacking in the singer’s recognisable facial features.

The Museum responded to the initial claims, stating that lighting and flash photography ‘may distort and misrepresent the colour’ of their figurines.

The statue was reportedly removed from public viewing on July 20 and was later replaced with an “adjusted” figurine.

“We love, respect and enjoy a working relationship with Beyoncé,” Tussauds explained. “We have adjusted the styling and lighting of her figure and she is on display at Madame Tussauds New York.”