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'Harlem Shake' compensation? Why two musicians want a cut

Two performers are seeking compensation from the creators of the 'Harlem Shake' YouTube sensation, saying that their work was used without permission.

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Egyptian activists, one wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, do the 'Harlem Shake' during an anti Muslim Brotherhood rally in front of their general headquarters, unseen, in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 28. Videos of groups doing the 'Harlem Shake' have been piling up on YouTube. Two artists are seeking compensation, saying that their work was used in 'Harlem Shake' without permission.

Nasser Nasser/AP

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Two performers who say their songs have been used in Baauer's No. 1 hit "Harlem Shake" are seeking compensation because their vocals have been used without permission.

The New York Times reports that songs from Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson are used in "Harlem Shake," which has become a viral hit thanks to YouTube videos of people dancing to the song.

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Delgado's "Maldades" and "Miller Time" by Musson's former rap group, Plastic Little, are said to be sampled in "Harlem Shake." The song is spending its third week on top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

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Delgado and Musson say they never gave Baauer, who was born Harry Bauer Rodrigues, permission to use their songs. Both Musson and Delgado are seeking compensation from Mad Decent Records, which put out the single and declined to comment.