Judge stops ‘Ready To Die’ over ‘illegal’ sample

A US judge has stopped all sales of Notorious BIG’s 1994 album ‘Ready To Die’ after a jury decided it used an illegal sample.

The jury said that Bad Boy Entertainment had used part of the 1992 song ‘Singing In The Morning’ by funk band Ohio Players without permission.

The two music companies who own the rights to recordings by Ohio Players were awarded $4.2 million (£2.3 million) in damages.

According to BBC News, not only does the ban affect the late Notorious BIG’s album ‘Ready To Die’, but also the title song in any form, including radio and downloads.

The album was executively produced by Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs and the defendants in the case – Bad Boy Entertainment, Bad Boy LLC, Justin Combs Publishing and Universal Records – plan to appeal.

Their lawyer Jay Bowen said: “We think (the verdict) is without merit.”

Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records hold the rights to ‘Singing In The Morning’, and owner Armen Boladian has said of the decision: “We’ve just been battling this for such a long time. So many have been settled because companies didn’t want anything to do with it, and we knew we were right.”

The companies have filed hundreds of cases in the past over unauthorised sampling of their artists, who include Ohio Players, George Clinton and Funkadelic.

Notorious BIG’s ‘Ready To Die’ and his posthumously released album ‘Life After Death’ have sold nearly 8 million copies together.