Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Des'ree nixes B'day

Beyonce has been forced to suspend the special edition of B'Day on account of including a cover of Des'ree's I'm Kissing You. The "special edition" - where that actually means 'a few extra tracks to try and persuade people to buy the record all over again - apparently only had the track included at the last minute; so last minute that the paperwork wasn't handled at all well.

MTV reports that in response to Beyonce's request for a licence, the owners offered some limits:

On March 5, the Royalty Network's lawyers answered by submitting a counter proposal in which they granted permission — within certain limits. For one thing, they would allow use of the song, but not in video form. They would also allow use of the song only if the title were not changed. The Royalty Network's lawyers at Epstein Levinsohn Bodine & Weinstein said in the complaint that "despite follow-ups," they didn't hear back from Beyoncé's camp. And on March 27, according to the complaint, they discovered that Beyoncé and her record label planned to proceed with their plans to include the song on the re-release anyway. In a letter they wrote to Beyoncé's lawyer and her distribution group Sony, the Royalty Network called the move "completely unacceptable."

"First, no agreement has been reached in connection with [the song]," the letter read, "and Sony has no right to proceed ... absent an agreement. Second, the retitling of the composition puts TRN at risk for claims from more than one third party, and this is a risk that [Beyoncé] and Sony were or should have been aware of in light of the circumstances surrounding the discussions relating to this potential license."

Of course, the Royalty Network is looking for money; now, the new B'Day and its video version has been recalled from Best Buys and Wal*Marts awaiting a legal hearing on May 4th. We imagine the money, rather than Beyonce's desire to rename the song Still In Love, will be the key focus of the hearings.