EXCLUSIVE: Kanye Says He Hasn’t Made Any Profits From Stem Player; Sample Case Goes To Mediation

Kanye West - Ye

Kanye West denied making any profits from Stem Players in response to a publisher’s copyright infringement lawsuit.

Kanye West claimed he didn’t profit from the sale of Stem Players despite his Donda 2 album’s exclusive release on the audio device.

According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Kanye responded to Ultra International Music Publishing’s copyright infringement lawsuit on Wednesday (March 1). The publisher sued Ye and others over an unauthorized sample in his song “Flowers,” which appeared on Donda 2.

Ultra International Music Publishing accused Kanye of sampling Marshall Jefferson’s track “Move Your Body” without permission. The publisher’s lawsuit assumed Ye profited from the sale of Stem Players. Kanye denied the allegations in his response to the complaint.

“[Kanye] specifically denies that he has received any profits from the sale of Stem Players,” his attorneys wrote. “Ye admits that there were sales of Stem Players after February 19, 2022, some of which came with Donda 2 preloaded on them. Ye denies that he received any revenue from those sales.”

The controversial rapper admitted he sampled “Move Your Body” but argued his work constituted fair use. Kanye challenged Ultra International Music Publishing’s allegations regarding past discussions about clearing the sample or paying for it.

“Ye denies that he personally acknowledged in discussions with representatives for Mr. Jefferson and UIMP that ‘Move Your Body’ was sampled in Flowers’ without authorization or payment,” his lawyers contended. “Ye further denies that he personally has not ceased distribution of ‘Flowers.’”

Kanye asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice. Instead, Judge Analisa Torres referred the case for mediation.

Ultra International Music Publishing sought $150,000 for each copyright infringed in its lawsuit. Trax Records, the label that released Jefferson’s “Move Your Body,” also sued Kanye and Kano Computing over the sample.

Kanye released Donda 2 on the Stem Player in 2022. That same year, Kano cut ties with him due to his antisemitic rants.