Red Rat Song ‘Tight Up Skirt’ Reached Settlement Between Chris Brown And Greensleeves Publishing, But Didn’t Include Red Rat

Red Rat News and New Music - Urban IslandzDancehall artist Red Rat appears to have been “left out of the equation” in a copyright infringement lawsuit against American singer Chris Brown, according to his attorney, Merrick Dammar.

The lawsuit, filed in a New York court by Greensleeves Publishing Ltd. in 2021, had accused Brown and his label, Sony Music, of sampling Red Rat’s 1997 hit Tight Up Skirt on his 2017 song Privacy without permission. Greensleeves, which was acquired by VP Records in 2008, had sought over US$1.5 million in damages and profits, but the company agreed to settle the case before trial in June 2023.

“Neither myself, Red Rat, his staff, or any other representative have been notified, consulted, approached, or respected by Greensleeves/VP or any others involved from the inception of this horrific affair to present day of a period spanning over two years,” Dammar told DancehallMag.

“In fact, when we reached out to Greensleeves/VP, we were totally ignored and left out of the equation.”

Sean Paul Says Red Rat Was The First Artist To Take Him On Tour -  DancehallMagWhen Greensleeves, Brown, and Sony reached the agreement last year, details of the settlement, including financial terms, were not disclosed. However, producer Danny Browne, who says he has some knowledge of the matter, recently told DancehallMag that Red Rat was being given songwriting credit on Brown’s Privacy as part of the deal. “I am not fully aware of all the details, just what I have been told my publisher,” he added.

Further, according to Browne’s understanding, all parties will be paid retroactively for sales of the Privacy song beginning at an undisclosed date in 2023.

Privacy, released in 2017, received most of its sales and streams prior to 2023. In August 2019, it was certified double platinum in the United States after surpassing over 2 million units sold in the country. It’s also currently certified Gold in the United Kingdom (400,000 units) and Platinum in Australia (70,000 units).

Red Rat expressed frustration at being kept in the dark upon hearing Browne’s comments.

“It is disappointing that I am hearing about these details from the media; I am going to Europe when I return, I will give a more detailed statement,” he told DancehallMag.

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Red Rat

Meanwhile, Greensleeves would only confirm that the lawsuit had been settled and that the Tight Up Skirt writers, who they represented, now shared in the copyright for Brown’s Privacy.

“The copyright infringement lawsuit has been amicably resolved, and the settlement details are confidential,” the company said in a statement to DancehallMag. “Following this resolution, it’s important to note that all the writers of ‘Tight Up Skirt’ represented by Greensleeves share in the copyright of the song ‘Privacy.’ This agreement underscores our commitment to ensuring the rights and contributions of our artists are respected and protected.”

Red Rat’s attorney criticized Greensleeves’ statement as detached from reality and noted the company only contacted Red Rat after DancehallMag recently inquired about the settlement.

“The statement released by Greensleeves/ VP is contrary to the rights of the artist, and IS NOT grounded in reality,” he said.

Red Rat News - DancehallMag“Red Rat was contacted by a lady from Greensleeves on the 22nd of March, 2024 and [she] stated that she was contacted by the media to give an update about the case that apparently ended seven months ago. She then tried to offer some form of information about the case and he forwarded her to my office and we still haven’t gotten a call.”

Tight Up Skirt was produced by Andrew ‘Buccaneer‘ Bradford on his Mad Lion Riddim, which included other songs like Goofy’s Buff Bay, Ghost’s Mixup Situation, and Buccaneer’s Plenty More Gal.  The song later appeared on Red Rat’s album Oh No… It’s Red Rat, which was released by Greensleeves in 1997.

Privacy, which appeared on Brown’s eighth studio album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at No. 62), and 4 weeks on the UK Singles Chart (peaking at No. 86).

Greensleeves’ lawsuit had claimed that Brown and Sony’s “exploitation of Tight Up Skirt” occurred in Privacy’s chorus, which included the following phrase: “Hey you girl without a tight up skirt!”.

Additionally, they claimed that the rhythms during the ‘tight up skirt’ phrases in both songs were identical.

riddims

In their response to the complaint, Chris Brown and Sony’s lawyers, Pryor Cashman LLP, had claimed, among other things, that any alleged similarities between Privacy and Tight Up Skirt were not “actionable” because they pertained to “commonplace, unprotectable elements; exist in prior art; are a de minimis [immaterial]; and/or constitute a fair use.”

The lawsuit formally ended on June 23, 2023, and the parties agreed to bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees.

Later that year, rapper BIA sampled Tight Up Skirt on OH NO, track six off her Really Her EP.

Source: Red Rat “Left Out Of The Equation” In Chris Brown Settlement Over ‘Tight Up Skirt’ – DancehallMag

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