According to documents seen by Dominica News Online (DNO), Derek “Rah” Peters has filed a law suit in the High Court of Dominica against Machel Montano of Trinidad and Tobago and Lashley Winter of St. Lucia. The suit was filed in February of 2020.
In his statement of claim, Peters alleges that Messrs. Montano and Winter, without his authorization, incorporated parts of the song “Balance Batty” by way of the technique known as sampling into their musical work to create a derivative work. Balance Batty was originally released in 1995 and enjoyed considerable success across the Caribbean including Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia.
Peters further alleges that as the sole lyricist and a co-composer of the musical work, his permission was necessary for any part of the song to be reproduced in any manner or form including reproduction by sampling. The sampling of “Balance Batty” was done in the creation of the song ISSA VIBE by Montano and Winter for the Carnival of 2019.
As a member of the business organization W.C.K at the time the recording was done, Peters is also claiming that he is a co-owner of the sound recording and thus his permission was also needed for the use of the sound recording of “Balance Batty” to be reproduced. He insists that since he gave no such permission, directly or indirectly, his right of reproduction in the sound recording was also infringed.
The statement of claim alleges that videos were made of the musical work ISSA VIBE incorporating “Balance Batty”. These videos were uploaded to the YOUTUBE video hosting site and made available to the public by Montano and Winter without his authorization. These unauthorized uploads infringed his right of communication to the public with respect to the musical work and the sound recording. Audio only versions of the song were also uploaded to the SOUND CLOUD audio hosting site without his authorization thereby creating further infringements.
Peters is also seeking relief for the Infringement of his moral rights associated with the song “Balance Batty” since he is not credited anywhere for his contribution to the creation of the song.