Daddy Yankee Facing Multiple Lawsuits Regarding His Breakthrough Album

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Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee made himself an international star with his multi-platinum, breakthrough album, "Barrio Fino." But two recording artists have now sued Daddy Yankee, claiming they wrote some of the material on the album.

Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee has been sued by two different artists over songs on his breakthrough album, "Barrio Fino." The album sold millions of copies and vaulted Daddy Yankee into the rarified air of an international superstar--and even spawned lucrative advertising deals with Pepsi and Reebok. But Daddy Yankee has recently come under fire for allegedly violating the legal rights of two other recording artists in making the album.

Donald Gardner, also known as Blacka Nice, a Jamaican-born musician living in New York, has sued Daddy Yankee in federal court in New York. (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, case number 07CV-6535 ) Gardner seeks a declaration that he is a co-owner of the song "Dale Caliente," a hit track from "Barrio Fino." Gardner alleges that he wrote and performed portions of the lyrics for the song during an in-studio session with Daddy Yankee, but that Daddy Yankee has not given Gardner songwriting credit and has not compensated him. Gardner has asked the court for an accounting of the profits earned on the song. Eric Kayira, one of Gardner's attorneys explains, "It is never good business for these matters to end up in a court - but in light of what may be a pattern; perhaps this action may serve more than just our client's interests." Kayira is a Partner at the law firm of Blackwell Sanders, LLP.

In addition, Victor M. Lopez, Jr., a Latin hip-hop artist from Los Angeles, has sued Daddy Yankee for copyright infringement. (United States District Court for the Central District of California, case number CV 07-5060 DDP.) The complaint alleges that Daddy Yankee used a copyrighted musical composition belonging to Lopez without permission for the "Barrio Fino" track "Salud Y Vida." According to Lopez's lawyer, Chris Arledge of the law firm Turner Green Afrasiabi & Arledge LLP, "It is undisputed that Victor Lopez wrote the music used on 'Salud Y Vida.' Daddy Yankee's own album cover gives Victor songwriting credit. Instead of dragging out this legal dispute, Daddy Yankee needs to take responsibility for his actions and compensate Victor appropriately."

Lopez alleges in his lawsuit that Daddy Yankee also failed to pay the producer of the "Barrio Fino" album. According to Lopez's other lawyer, Peter Afrasiabi, "We are troubled by the other allegations against Daddy Yankee. If there is indeed a pattern of misconduct here--if Daddy Yankee has taken intellectual property belonging to others in addition to our client--then it would appear that he has been acting in bad-faith all along, and his treatment of my client cannot be considered merely a mistake."

Contact:
Chris Arledge
Turner Green Afrasiabi & Arledge LLP
(714) 434-8750
http://www.turnergreen.com

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