Overnight sensation Baauer is in a bit of hot water, but not so much. The success of his produced single "Harlem Shake" has brought forward two individuals who's vocals are laced on the production of the track and wasn't cleared for usage.
Former reggae artist Hector Delgado, who gave up his music career over five years ago, and Jayson Musson, who is a rapper from Philadelphia are both heard on the track and it was brought to their attention by their former managers.
Both are now seeking royalties since the song is nearing the one million download mark and has been #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 for three weeks in a row. Since the song wasn't intended to be an international hit, but an underground club banger, proper negotiations weren't made.
Neither gave permission to the song’s producer and writer, Harry Bauer Rodrigues, who records under the name Baauer, to use snippets of their records, they said. “It’s almost like they came on my land and built a house,” Mr. Delgado saidBoth Mr. Musson and Mr. Delgado are seeking compensation from Mad Decent Records, which put out the single last year. The label and Mr. Rodrigues declined to comment. But the tale of how an obscure dance track containing possible copyright violations rose to the top of pop charts illustrates not only the free-for-all nature of underground dance music but also the power of an Internet fad to create a sudden hit outside the major-label system
Source: NY Times
Interesting...I would do the same if someone is making thousands of dollars on something with my name and voice attached to it. But the success is pretty much due to Youtube and Billboard's new partnership with tracking music views. If that wasn't in place, the song would have just remained on Youtube.