According The Hollywood Reporter, Rick Ross and Jermaine Jackson have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against pop group LMFAO, Kobalt Music Publishing and Kia Motors America based upon an alleged illegal use of the phrase, “Everyday I’m Shufflin” in their 2010 hit song “Party Rock Anthem,” which is believed to have been derived from the 2006 Rick Ross anthem, “Hustlin.”
Based upon the lawsuit filed in Florida federal court, “The use of ‘Hustlin’ in ‘Party Rock Anthem’, is readily apparent, despite the slight change from ‘Everyday I’m hustlin’….to ‘Everyday I’m shufflin’….’and constitutes, inter alia, the creation of an unauthorized derivative work.”
What Does This Mean?:
Creators of works of art, in this case lyrics, have an ownership interest in what they create. This includes rights to control how it is recorded, distributed, performed, reproduced (i.e. – including prepare derivative works/adaptation), displayed, etc. (The technical five fundamental rights are the rights of reproduction, adaptation, publication, performances and display.) Most, if not all, songs you hear on the radio, on the internet and on television have been registered with the Library of Congress for copyright protection.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a derivative work is a work based on or derived from one or more already existing works. Common derivative works include translations, musical arrangements, motion picture versions of literary material or plays, art reproductions, abridgments, and condensations of preexisting works. Another common type of derivative work is a “new edition” of a preexisting work in which the editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications represent, as a whole, an original work.
The plaintiffs, who are represented by attorneys from Gray Robinson, PA, are alleging that LMFAO failed to obtain a license or permission to utilize the “Everyday I’m Shufflin” phrase and further allege that the phrase is “performed in a manner to sound like” Ross’ own, and “is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the fame and success of Hustlin’”.
How Does This Affect You? :
If you are an artist, whether it is music, art, television, etc., it is imperative to protect your work on a national level by filing copyright application for what you created. Additionally, if you are creating work that is or may be a derivative of a previous work or includes a sample of a work owned by another party, permission is required by way of a license or purchase and royalties and fees must be paid in order to avoid a lawsuit.
Also, it is imperative that you do not ignore correspondence from a party alleging wrong doing. Failure to respond may end in an injunction (i.e. – a stop) to further sales of the alleged infringing music, along with payment of statutory damages to the wronged party.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"