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Music

H.E.R. has settled the 'Focus' copyright infringement lawsuit

@SamWKemp

Following a lawsuit being filed against H.E.R., DJ Camper, Justin Love and Sony Music Entertainment, a settlement has finally been reached. The lawsuit was initially filed in 2020 and alleged that H.E.R.’s 2016 song ‘Focus’ (from her 2017 self-titled album), knowingly infringed upon Andre Sims’ original composition ‘Endless Minds’ without consent or compensation.

Andre Sims is a pianist and composer who has worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder. He wrote ‘Endless Minds’ back in 2004 but only posted it on Instagram in 2015, going on to register the track with the US Copyright Office in January 2020.

Camper, in an Instagram live stream, admitted that Sims’ original song, ‘Endless Minds’ was indeed a big influence on the melody for ‘Focus’. The song was co-written with H.E.R. (real name Gabriella Wilson) and Love (real name Justin Anthony Barroso). It was also co-produced with H.E.R.

Sims went on to accuse the trio and the track’s distributor Sony of copyright infringement and requested injunctive and monetary relief. He initially filed a lawsuit for the sum of $3 million.

His original statement read: “to write and record ‘Focus’, and ultimately to produce, perform, distribute and otherwise exploit ‘Focus’, Defendants [H.E.R., Camper, Love and Sony] copied ‘Endless Minds’, to which they had prior access, resulting in the song ‘Focus’, which is so similar to ‘Endless Minds’ that the ordinary observer could easily determine that the songs sound the same in their essential compositional and other elements.” As of yet, the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

Sims, who is represented by James L. Walker Jr. and Renorda Pryor of Atlanta-based law firm J. Walker and Associates LLP, commented on the settlement, saying: “I’m happy we could reach a resolution and would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers.”

Law firm, J. Walker added: “At this point, we have nothing more to say than we are pleased to see the case resolved and settled. Now, all parties can move on with their lives. Special thanks to all of the attorneys involved who worked tirelessly to close this matter out.”

You can listen to ‘Focus’ below.

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