Madonna sued over ‘Vogue’ sample

Company suing 'MDNA' singer for copyright infringement – 22 years after her hit single was released…

Madonna is being sued by a record label who claim she stole samples from one of their songs for her 1990 hit single ‘Vogue’.

E! Online reports that VMG have filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against the ‘MDNA’ singer and her label, WB Records, after alleging that she pilfered elements from the track ‘Ooh I Love It (Love Break’) by Salsoul Orchestra, which is thought to have been released in 1977.

In the lawsuit, VMG allege that horns and strings were taken from the earlier track and used in ‘Vogue’ without permission. “The portions of ‘Love Break’, which have been copied into ‘Vogue’ and all its various ‘mixes’, ‘remixes’, ‘videos’, YouTueb versions etc, are numerous but intentionally hidden,” they said. “The horn and strings in ‘Vogue’ are intentionally sampled from ‘Love Break’ throughout’.”

They also alleged that they had only recently detected the sample – 22 years after the track was released – because it had been intentionally hidden, and claimed that producer Richard ‘Shep’ Pettibone, who they hired to mix ‘Love Break’ and who later worked on ‘Vogue’, had altered the samples to intentionally hide them.

They added:

The unauthorized sampling was deliberately hidden by [Madonna] within ‘Vogue’ so as to avoid detection. It was only when VMG specifically looked for the sample, with the technology available to it in 2011, that the sampling could be confirmed.

VMG, who say they served Madonna with a copyright infringement notice in July 2011 and February 2012, are now seeking compensation in addition to “Madonna’s profits that are attributable to the copyrighted material”. The singer has not responded to the allegations.

In February of this year, Brazilian popstar Joao Brasil accused Madonna of stealing the chorus from his track ‘LOVE Banana’ for her single ‘Gimme All Your Luvin”. However, he claimed he was reluctant to take legal action as he was a “huge fan of hers” and claimed he was flattered by the similarity between the two songs.

In January, meanwhile, Madonna herself spoke out about the similarities between her classic single ‘Express Yourself’ and Lady Gaga’s track ‘Born This Way’ by describing the latter track as “reductive”. She later acknowledged the similarity between the two tracks again when she incorporated the chorus to ‘Born This Way’ into a live rendition of ‘Express Yourself’.