Rapper Rick Ross Loses Copyright Claim To Duo LMFAO
Rick Ross and Maybach Music Group took a huge L this week in court. The former corrections officer turned rapper sued LMFAO for their take on his single “Hustlin”. The duo from LMFAO admitted to making a song based on his hook “Everday Im Hustlin” replacing the “Hustlin” with “Shufflin”. In the track they poke fun at some of Ross’ quirks like the fact that he claims to be a gangster when in fact he worked as a corrections officer. The beat which was made by Jermaine Jackson was not used of sample in the LMFAO remake neither was any of the other lyrics. Ultimately the judge found that simply using 2 of 3 words contained in a hook is not nearly enough for a copy right claim.
“The question presented, however, is not whether the the Iyrics of Hustlin’, as arranged in their entirety, are subject to copyright protection,” she writes. “The question is whether the use of a three word phrase appearing in the musical composition, divorced from the accompanying music, modified, and subsequently printed on merchandise, constitutes an infringement of the musical composition Hustlin’. The answer, quite simply, is that it does not.”
Judge Williams uses other cases where short phrases like “you got the right one, uh-huh,” “holla back,” “we get it poppin’,” and “caught up” failed to to be original enough to be copyrightable as examples why Ross’ case falls under that category. She even says that Rozay isn’t the first person to come up with the phrase. She continues, “The average lay observer would not confuse t-shirts bearing the phrase ‘everyday I’m shufflin” with the musical composition Hustlin’, nor without reference to Party Rock Anthem and Hustlin’, would an average lay observer recognize the merchandise as having been appropriated from Hustlin’.”
By Whitey Bulger