DJ Master Tee Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over 2Pac's "Dear Mama"

Accusing labels and producer Tony Pizarro of eliminating his “legitimate ownership of copyright.”

Music
1,509 Hypes 0 Comments

DJ Master Tee is suing producer Tony D. Pizarro, Interscope Records and its parent company Universal Music Group (UMG) over 2Pac‘s Me Against The World hit “Dear Mama.”

Music Business Worldwide reports that Master Tee, real name Terence Thomas, is accusing Pizzaro of conspiring with the record labels to “[misappropriate] Master Tee’s publishing copyright and master recording copyright and [assume] the identity of writer/publisher of Dear Mama’s music.” The lawsuit notes that Thomas, who is named a producer on the track and has been working as a bus driver in New York City for the past 26 years, is “not a sophisticated business person” and did not know that he was owed publishing royalties until he watched the Dear Mama Hulu series this year. “Master Tee did not until very recently appreciate that the royalties which he was deriving from BMI were actually much less than he should have been receiving had his creative work been credited as it should have been from the outset,” the suit reads. It adds that the the three-year limit on filing a copyright infringement claim is not valid as the producer was only made aware of the supposed infringement this year.

The complaint explains that Master Tee and Tupac Shakur met in 1993 while he was a DJ for MC Lyte. They reportedly recorded “Dear Mama” around October 1993 and “[f]rom this meeting and collaboration, the iconic and historic hip hop song ‘Dear Mama’ was created.” Included in the lawsuit is a 1996 interview with the rapper where he states that “Master Tee gave me the beat” for “Dear Mama,” a handwritten note — supposedly written by Shakur — of the Me Against The World tracklist that names Master Tee as a producer on the song and a demo of the song that features his producer’s tag.

“While 2Pac was incarcerated and without initial consent from 2Pac and without ever receiving any consent from Master Tee, Pizarro took the master recording of Dear Mama and made unilateral changes at the bequest of Interscope Records, which Pizarro intended would eliminate Master Tee’s legitimate ownership of copyright,” the complaint read. “What is abundantly clear and scientifically provable is that the remixed tape reels which were generated by the Defendant Pizarro, dated July 1994 and retitled Dear Mama Remix, were derived from and are the slave versions of the original 2 Inch Master Tape of Dear Mama created in 1993 by 2Pac and Master Tee.”

The Walt Disney Company, Hulu, Fox Entertainment, FX Networks, NBC Universal, El Matador, director Allen Hughes and the Tupac Shakur Estate’s publishing company, Joshua’s Dream Music, were also named as defendants as they were involved in the Dear Mama series.

Master Tee wants the judge to declare him as a co-writer and co-publisher of the track, and for an injunction to bar the accused from collecting royalties until the case is resolved. He is also seeking for a sum of the money he is supposedly owed, alongside copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and theft of intellectual property damages.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Dime Releases Winter-Ready Staples for Holiday 2023
Fashion

Dime Releases Winter-Ready Staples for Holiday 2023

Available now.

Tom Hardy Shares 'Venom 3' Update, Confirming It Has Resumed Production
Entertainment

Tom Hardy Shares 'Venom 3' Update, Confirming It Has Resumed Production

‘Venom 3’ now has a delayed release date.

The Hundreds and ‘Star Wars’ Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the ‘Return of the Jedi’
Fashion

The Hundreds and ‘Star Wars’ Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the ‘Return of the Jedi’

With a 16-piece collaborative collection, featuring characters from Palpatine to C-3PO.

First Look at the Nike Book 1 "Moss Point"
Footwear

First Look at the Nike Book 1 "Moss Point"

Expected to arrive next year.

ASICS and COSTS Team Up Again for the GT-2160 "SHAO JI"
Footwear

ASICS and COSTS Team Up Again for the GT-2160 "SHAO JI"

Expressed in a subtle Oatmeal colorway accented by a variety of co-branding elements.


Netflix Acquires Kim Kardashian's Upcoming Comedy 'The Fifth Wheel'
Entertainment

Netflix Acquires Kim Kardashian's Upcoming Comedy 'The Fifth Wheel'

The reality star and businesswoman will produce and star in the film.

Official Images of the Under Armour Curry 11 "Bruce Lee Fire"
Footwear

Official Images of the Under Armour Curry 11 "Bruce Lee Fire"

Available now.

Bradley Cooper Reveals He Would Do 'The Hangover 4' in an "Instant"
Entertainment

Bradley Cooper Reveals He Would Do 'The Hangover 4' in an "Instant"

Also adding he would make a fifth sequel after the fourth if he could.

Drake's 'For All the Dogs' Returns To No. 1
Music

Drake's 'For All the Dogs' Returns To No. 1

Following the release of ‘For All the Dogs: Scary Hours Edition.’

HBX Market Is the Platform’s First-Ever Physical Vintage Archival Sale
Events

HBX Market Is the Platform’s First-Ever Physical Vintage Archival Sale

Offering rare pieces from local vendors, creatives, and HBX Archives.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.