New York State Senate passes a bill that will limit the use of song lyrics and “creative expression” in court.
The topic of song lyrics being used in court has always been a sticky issue, because in some cases–believe it or not–your favorite artist is lying. Sometimes, the songs aren’t even written by them, so when they get jammed up in court, it’s seemingly unfair to use their art or job duties against them.
Jay-Z has been at the forefront of getting lyrics removed from court and putting his focus on the issue. According to PitchFork, a bill sponsored by Senators Jamaal Bailey and Brad Hoylman that also received public support from Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, Fat Joe, and Robin Thicke, and others, has officially passed.
Senate Bill S7527 will not ban prosecutors from presenting the lyrics, but will require them to show the art is “literal, rather than figurative or fictional.” Courts have been using lyrics for decades to paint pictures of artists to support the charges placed on them. If you read Young Thug’s RICO case against him and YSL, the majority is supported by lyrics.
This is a small step, but in the right direction, and we are sure more steps will follow. This is just the beginning.