Lil Wayne was ordered by a federal magistrate on Wednesday (March 18) to turn over financial records for his multiplatinum album Tha Carter III to a publisher accusing him of copyright infringement.
According to The Associated Presss, the lawsuit, filed in May 2008, says that Wayne did not receive permission to sample folk singer Karma-Ann Swanepoel's song "Once" for his song "I Feel Like Dying."
While "I Feel Like Dying" didn't make the album, a lawyer for Urband & Lazar Music Publishing contends that Wayne used the song to promote Tha Carter III by performing it in concert and allowing fans to download it for free.
U.S. Magistrate Daniel Knowles III ruled in New Orleans that Urband & Lazar, who published "Once," is entitled to review records about the sale of Tha Carter III.
"Only experts and attorneys have a right to see it," said Knowles, who issued a protective order on the records.
The suit says that Wayne's Cash Money Records were not able to negotiate a license to use Swanepoel's song by the time millions downloaded "I Feel Like Dying."
The rapper's lawyers said that the folk singer made numerous unsuccessful requests to appear in a music video for "I Feel Like Dying" or to perform alongside Wayne.
Melvin Albritton, a lawyer for Urband & Lazar, conceded that Wayne didn't directly profit from the song. "It's more akin to promotional material," he said. "He used the infringing work to promote himself."
Shantell Payton, and attorney for Lil Wayne, says that the rapper has no control over the site where fans downloaded "I Feel Like Dying."
"Quite simply, 'I Feel Like Dying' did nothing for Mr. Carter's career," wrote Lil Wayne's lawyers in court papers.