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East meets West in dispute over alleged song theft

Posted On: May. 24, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Kanye West and Gábor Presser are singing the same old song.

Rapper and producer Mr. West is being accused of sampling without permission by Hungarian singer and composer Mr. Presser.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Friday, “New Slaves,” a song off Mr. West's 2013 album Yeezus, copies Mr. Presser's 1969 song “Gyongyhaju Lany.”

Mr. Presser said that he had no knowledge of his song being used and that he eventually received an email from Mr. West's attorney saying that they wanted to work out a deal with him. He was later sent a $10,000 check, which he never cashed and a request to grant a license, Reuters reported.

“Kanye West knowingly and intentionally misappropriated plaintiff's composition,” the complaint said. “After his theft was discovered, defendants refused to deal fairly with plaintiff.”

According to Reuters, Mr. Presser seeks at least $2.5 million in damages for copyright infringement.

Mr. West's lawyers and co-defendant Sony/ATV Music Publishing L.L.C. did not respond to Reuters request for comment.