Madonna Sued Over "Vogue"

Delaware company claims copyright infringement, saying pop icon sampled portions of a 1977 composition called "Love Break"

By Brandi Fowler, Baker Machado Jul 13, 2012 3:20 AMTags
MadonnaFrank Micelotta/Getty Images

Better late than never? 

Perhaps that's what execs at VMG, a company out of Delaware, were thinking when they filed suit Wednesday against Madonna and her record label over the 1990 hit "Vogue," claiming the pop icon sampled portions of a composition called "Love Break," which was released around 1977.

In the suit, the company claims, "The portions of "Love Break, which have been copied into Vogue and all its various "mixes," "remixes" videos, YouTube versions, etc. are numerous but intentionally hidden. The horn and strings in Vogue are intentionally sampled from "Love Break" throughout."

Music producer Richard "Shep" Pettibone, who was originally hired by VMG to remix various editions of "Love Break" and later worked on "Vogue," is also mentioned in the suit, with the company claiming Pettibone "intentionally disguised the sampling he did in ‘Vogue.'"

"The unauthorized sampling was deliberately hidden by [Madonna] within "Vogue" so as to avoid detection. It was only when VMG specifically looked for the sample, with the technology available to it in 2011, that the sampling could be confirmed," VMG said.

The company claims it gave WB Records and Madonna a notice of copyright infringement in July 2011 and again in February 2012. 

VMG is seeking damages "in addition to [Madonna's] profits that are attributable to the copyrighted material."

Madonna's reps have not yet responded to requests for comment.