Birdman faces a federal lawsuit that accuses him of sampling other artists' songs without paying licensing fees.
The lawsuit claims the popular rapper, whose real name is Bryan Williams, owes several music publishing companies an unspecified amount of money for using copyrighted songs without permission.
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Williams faces a federal lawsuit that accuses him of sampling other artists' songs without paying licensing fees.
Williams and his brother, Ronald, co-founded Cash Money Records, which has a distribution and marketing deal with Universal Records, according to the label's Web site.
The lawsuit claims that albums by Birdman and other rappers, including Lil Wayne and Big Tymers, contain copyrighted material that Cash Money Records used without licensing agreements and without paying royalties. The lawsuit doesn't name any of the copyrighted songs.
The Williams brothers and their label made a single payment of $400,000, the lawsuit says, but have failed to provide the companies with "appropriate accounting" to show how much more money they owe.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 29 in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, accuses the Williams brothers of breach of contract and copyright infringement and seeks unspecified damages, plus interest and attorneys' fees.
Court records show that the plaintiffs' attorneys tried to serve Cash Money Records with a copy of the lawsuit on Dec. 3, but the label apparently has vacated an office in a New Orleans suburb.
Birdman has reportedly moved to Miami. His publicist, Kia Selby, said Thursday that she hasn't seen the lawsuit.
The companies named as plaintiffs are WB Music Corp., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Cotillion Music Inc., Noontime Tunes and W.B.M. Music Corp. Warner-Chappell Music, a division of Warner Music Group, is the plaintiffs' parent company.
Amanda Collins, a spokeswoman for Warner Music Group, declined to comment.
Birdman and Lil Wayne won a viewers' choice award for their song "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" at Black Entertainment Television's 2007 Hip-Hop Awards.