Memo to Madonna: 1990 called and it wants its sampling back.
How's this for a lawsuit two decades after the fact? E! News reports that VMG, a Delaware-based company, filed suit earlier this week against the Material Girl and her record label in connection with her 1990 hit (Yes — 1990!) "Vogue." The suit claims her song sampled portions of VMG's tune "Love Break."
VMG's song was released around 1977. The company claims in the lawsuit that portions of the song "have been copied into 'Vogue' and all its various 'mixes,' 'remixes,' videos, YouTube versions, etc., [and] are numerous but intentionally hidden. The horn and strings in 'Vogue' are intentionally sampled from 'Love Break' throughout."
Here's where it gets really interesting — Richard "Shep" Pettibone is a music producer who originally worked for VMG to remix editions of "Love Break." Shep later worked on "Vogue." He is also mentioned in the suit; VMG alleges that he "intentionally disguised the sampling he did in 'Vogue.'"
Apparently the record label claims it gave WB Records and Madonna a notice of copyright infringement last July and again this past February. As for what they're seeking specifically, they're looking for damages "in addition to [Madonna's] profits that are attributable to the copyrighted material."