Bad Bunny reaches preliminary settlement in ‘Safaera’ copyright case

Bad rabbit has reached a preliminary 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 concluded on Jan. 17 after both parties – in this case Bunny and the Florida-based company AOM Music – participated in mediation. After notice of the settlement was filed in court, a federal judge in California suspended future hearings in the case.

The court filing notes that the process will “take some time as the settlement is complex and will require review and approval by multiple companies and individual parties.” The parties are obliged to submit a joint report on the status of the settlement if the case is not dismissed before Feb. 17.

Filed by AOM Music aka BM Records on Sept 27, 2021, the lawsuit alleged 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 landmark album YHLQMDLG. “No license or permit was obtained,” the suit claimed.

After the complaint was filed, DJ Playero took to Instagram a declaration and clarified that he knew nothing about the lawsuit and had nothing but respect for all the artists involved. “I’m proud that I helped open the doors for these artists who are known worldwide today,” he wrote, “a song that plays on the radio and in the world with part of a track of my track , is a beautiful feeling that cannot be imagined.”

Produced by TainyDJ Orma and Subelo Neothe almost five-minute long “Safaera” – which offers Jowell and 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”. temporarily withdrawn from Spotify due to a claim that a fragment of the song had not cleared the corresponding rights.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 his 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. “Unfortunately you are misleading all these people into thinking I have 99%,” Elliott wrote at the time. “Now I don’t talk business online because it’s messy, but now here we are, I have 25% and there are 6 other samples and 15 other writers on this one song.”

Read the full settlement announcement below:

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