Sony Music Wins 800k Copyright Battle Against Rapper Trefuego Over "90mh" Track

In a legal battle that began last year, Sony Music has emerged victorious in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Trefuego, the rapper behind the TikTok hit "90mh." The lawsuit, initially reported by MBW, accused Trefuego of unlawfully sampling the 1986 track "Reflections" by Japanese composer Toshifumi Hinata, which Sony owns the rights to.

The court judgment, issued in a Texas court on March 27th, orders Trefuego (Dantreal Daevon Clark-Rainbolt) to pay Sony Music a total of $802,997.23 in damages, including funds currently held by his distributor, DistroKid.

Sony Music's lawsuit, filed in December 2022, alleged that Trefuego had "stolen" Hinata's musical composition and sound recording for his track "90mh," thereby violating US copyright laws. The lawsuit claimed that Trefuego's actions damaged the market for Hinata's works and falsely implied his endorsement of Trefuego's usage.

The court found Trefuego liable for copyright infringement in November, following unsuccessful attempts to serve him with legal documents. Sony Music sought damages amounting to $802,997.23, plus costs and a permanent injunction against future infringement. The court granted Sony's request for damages and costs but denied the injunction.

In his order, Judge Mark T. Pittman acknowledged Sony's pursuit of a reasonable claim against Trefuego and criticized the rapper's evasion of legal proceedings. Judge Pittman emphasized the importance of compliance with court orders and urged defendants to engage constructively in legal processes.

Judge Pittman emphasized that Sony's motivation was justified, and Trefuego's avoidance of legal responsibilities only exacerbated the situation.

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