The sample of 1974 10cc track “The Worst Band In The World” used extensively on J Dilla Donuts track “Workinonit” is the subject of an copyright lawsuit. According court documents reviewed for a report by Pitchfork, “Music Sales Corporation and Man-Ken Music, Ltd(the latter of which owns the 10cc composition) are suing Universal Polygram International Publishing Inc. and E.P.H.C.Y. Publishing for copyright infringement.” The suit was filed on March 20th of this year.

The complaint alleges that Dilla’s “Workinonit” “contains exact or substantially similar copies of multiple quantitatively and qualitatively substantial sections of the Composition” and adds that “J Dilla did not seek or obtain a license to use the Composition in any fashion.”

“Workinonit” arrived in 2006 as part of Donuts, the album released just three days before his death at the age of 32, but experienced a resurgence after Dave Chappelle used it as the theme music for a pair of 2017 Netflix comedy specials, Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin. The audio from the specials later won a Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album”. According to the complaint, the defendants were informed of the track’s infringing content prior to licensing the song to the streaming giant for the Chappelle specials.

Related: This 28-Hour J Dilla Sample Archive Birthday Playlist Is Spectacular [Listen]

According to Pitchfork, “Plaintiffs state that a demand letter was sent to defendants on July 18, 2017 regarding the licensing of the track, however ‘the parties have been unable to reach any resolution, thus requiring the filing of this action.'”

While “Workinonit” stands on its own as a work of art and a classic example of Dilla’s sampling prowess, it’s hard to deny that it is, as the lawsuit argues, “a work derivative of the [10cc] Composition.”

The plaintiffs seek to order defendants to “destroy or deliver up for destruction all materials in Defendants’ possession, custody, or control used by Defendants in connection with Defendants’ infringing conduct.”

Music Sales Corporation is now seeking compensatory damages for the “deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive” action, the profits earned by Universal Music, E.P.H.C.Y. Publishing and Stones Throw Records within at least the last three years, and compensation for attorneys’ fees and additional costs in relation to the lawsuit. The complaint did not include a total sum of financial damages being sought by the plaintiffs.

You can listen to both J Dilla’s “Workinonit” and 10cc’s “The Worst Band In The World” below:

J Dilla – “Workinonit”

[Video: J Dilla – Topic]

10cc – “The Worst Band In The World”

[Video: TopPop]

[H/T Pitchfork]