Jay Z wins lawsuit against sound engineer claiming co-ownership of hit songs

Chauncey Mahan sought co-ownership of tracks like 'Big Pimpin'' and 'Do It Again'

Jay-Z has won a lawsuit that was filed by a sound engineer claiming co-ownership of 41 of the rapper’s songs.

Mahan participated in the recording of the album ‘Vol 3… The Life and Times of S. Carter’ and kept masters, outtakes, and other unpublished material from these sessions on his hard drive. The engineer claims he told Roc-A-Fella executives that he was in possession of this material but received no reply.

Mahan’s lawsuit claims that, in 2014, Roc Nation arranged to meet him at his storage space in LA but this turned out to be a “sting operation”, Billboard reports. Mahan later filed the lawsuit which sough a declaratory judgment under the Copyright Act. The engineer claimed that his original contributions and particular work status meant he should be a co-owner on 41 sound recordings.

This week, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield decreed that Mahan had come to court too late to be successful in his claims. Schofield reasoned that Roc-A-Fella’s registrations with the United States Copyright Office, the Albums’ packaging, and the fact Mahan had not been paid any royalties meant he would have been aware long ago of the situation.

Schofield wrote in her analysis: “Plaintiff asserts that a reasonable person would not necessarily have reason to know that royalties were owed to him in this situation. Considering the depth of Plaintiff’s experience in the music industry and the substantial commercial success of the Albums, this assertion strains credulity.”