The towering televangelist behind The Potter’s House, a famous Dallas church with 30,000 members, posted a “Special Notice” on Facebook this week claiming the rappers’ remix of “Holy Ghost” rips off one of his sermons.
“The ‘Holy Ghost’ remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music or its associated companies,” the Facebook post said.
“We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes’ intellectual property,” the post read.
The remix opens with a sample of Jakes’ 2013 speech “Don’t Let The Chatter Stop You.”
“I’m under attack, but I’m still on fire. I’ve got some chatter, but I’m still on fire. I’ve got some threat, but I’m still on fire. I got some liabilities, but I’m still on fire,” he says in the 24-second clip.
“It’s not amazing that I’m on fire. I’ve been to hell and back, but I’m still on fire,” his voice booms.
Jakes, 57, is a Grammy-winning star among evangelical leaders and once appeared on a Time magazine cover in 2001 with the headline, “Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?”
Reps for the rappers and Jakes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
At least one legal expert said Jakes might have a tall mountain to climb with his intellectual property claim.
11241315305, 10038812. NOV. 24, 2013 FILE PHOTOS. Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Kendrick Lamar, pictured, and Young Jeezy sampled a preacher’s sermon in their ‘Holy Ghost’ remix.
“This sounds like a strong fair use case,” Los Angeles lawyer Jonathan Kirsch told the Daily News, referring to the doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without permission.
Kirsch pointed to the landmark 1994 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case that pitted Miami rap group 2 Live Crew against the publishing company behind Roy Orbison’s hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman.”
In a unanimous decision, the justices said 2 Live Crew had a right to riff on the classic country tune for parody purposes.
“Generally speaking, it is ‘fair use,’ in the context of a song, to copy elements of someone else’s work in order to make a point that amounts to commentary,” Kirsch said. “The notion of taking a cultural artifact, like a sermon, and using a small portion to make a comment on the role of religion in peoples’ consciousness is very similar.”