Owners Of P-Funk Catalog Sue Over Nearly 500 Samples

More than 800 defendants named for sampling such classics as 'Flash Light,' 'Atomic Dog.'

The Michigan company that owns much of the George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic catalog has sued more than 800 defendants for what it claims is unauthorized sampling of such P-Funk classics as "Flash Light" and "Bop Gun (Endangered Species)" and Clinton solo tracks such as "Atomic Dog."

The suit, filed by Bridgeport Music Group on May 4 in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, alleges nearly 500 counts of copyright infringement in songs such as Public Enemy's "Bring tha Noise," Salt-N-Pepa's "I'll Take Your Man" and Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride."

While no artists are being sued, the nearly 1,000-page suit names all five major record companies as well as dozens of independents, publishing companies and copyright administrators. Bridgeport — which owns former Clinton label Westbound Records, among others — is seeking the profits from the recordings as well as $150,000 in statutory damages for each instance of alleged copyright infringement.

Whatever the outcome of the suit, it's not likely to benefit Clinton. The funk legend sued Bridgeport in 1999 to reclaim control of his catalog, a suit rejected by a Florida judge earlier this year (see "George Clinton Denied Rights To His Own Work").