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Bad Bunny Reaches Tentative Settlement in ‘Safaera’ Copyright Lawsuit

todayJanuary 25, 2023

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Bad Bunny has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit that accused the Puerto Rican superstar and his collaborators of “unauthorized incorporation” of three DJ Playero songs into his 2020 track “Safaera,” according to legal documents obtained by Billboard.

The “settlement in principle” was reached Jan. 17 after both parties — in this case, Bunny and the Florida-based company AOM Music — participated in a mediation. After notice of the settlement was filed with the court, a federal judge in California suspended future hearings in the case.

The court document notes that the process will “take some time since the settlement is complex and will require the review and approval of multiple corporate and individual parties.” The parties are required to submit a joint report on the status of the settlement if a dismissal of the case hasn’t been filed by Feb. 17.

Filed by AOM Music, also known as BM Records, on Sept. 27, 2021, the lawsuit claimed that Bad Bunny “stole” samples from reggaeton pioneer DJ Playero’s “Besa Tu Cuerpo,” “Chocha Con Bicho” and “Sigan Bailando” for “Safaera,” a global hit that was included on the superstar’s history-making album YHLQMDLG. “No license or authorization was obtained,” the suit alleged.

After the complaint was filed, DJ Playero took to Instagram with a statement clarifying he knew nothing of the lawsuit and had nothing but respect for all the artists involved. “I am proud that I was part of opening the doors to these artists who are known worldwide today,” he wrote, “a song that sounds on the radio and in the world with part of a track of mine is a beautiful feeling that no one can imagine.”

Produced by Tainy, DJ Orma and Subelo Neo, the nearly five-minute “Safaera” — which features Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow — is a mashup of old school perreo and reggaetón beats and samples and interpolates various classic hits, including the signature six-note hook to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.”

When it was released in early 2020, “Safaera” was temporarily pulled from Spotify due to a claim that a fragment of the song had not cleared the corresponding rights. In a back-and-forth last year, rapper Missy Elliott weighed in on Twitter after successfully getting her royalties for the song.

Elliott’s response came after Jowell (of Jowell & Randy) claimed his royalties had dropped to 1% after the rapper was properly compensated. “Sadly you mislead all these people to make them think I have 99%,” Elliott wrote at the time. “Now I don’t talk business on line because that’s messy but now we are here I have 25% and there is 6 other samples & 15 other writers on this one song.”

Read the full settlement notice below:

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