Now successful actor Mark Wahlberg (then Marky Mark), Usher and RUN-DMC are amongst a list of recording artists being sued for copyright violation in the US District Court in Illinois. The artists are being sued by Twilight Records and Syl-Zel Music in a wide reaching lawsuit which claims that the defendants sampled the 1967 track Different Strokes without permission. The original track was sung and recorded by Sylvester Thompson, a/k/a Syl Johnson.
The claimants allege that Wahlberg, as part of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, sampled the track in the 1991 release The Last Song on Side B, and that Usher infringed copyright in his 1993 song Call Me a Mack. Run-DMC allegedly sampled the song in its single Naughty as well as Beats to the Rhyme. The lawsuit also claims that Public Enemy – another defendant in the case – sampled the song in a number of its singles including Fight The Power and Fear of a Black Planet. Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music are also named as defendants, The claimants are seeking accounting compensation, a permanent restraint against further sampling and unspecified damages. The lawsuit comes just two years after the record companies sued Kanye West and Jay-Z for sampling the same song. The case was later settled out of court