Originally Posted 10/30/06
Well, as an update to a post we had a little bit back – it appears that 50 Cent no longer has to defend claims of copyright infringement. As you may recall, 50 was sued by (Lil Joe Wein Music, a company owned by Luther Campbell’s (of 2 live crew fame) former attorney and holder of rights to several of Campbell’s songs. They claimed that 50’s song “In Da Club” infringed on Campbell’s “It’s Your Birthday”. The material in question is the line in 50’s song “Go shorty, it’s your birthday” as opposed to “Go Shelia, it’s your birthday”.
Miami Federal District Court Judge Paul C. Huck, dismissed the claims against 50, stating that the phrase in question was “common, unoriginal, no copyrightable element of the plaintiff’s song.” Additionally, Judge Huck noted that absent the one phrase that the songs didn’t share any other similarities and that the line in question only represented 11 seconds of a 3 minute song. As a matter of law, the judge ruled that no reasonable jury could conclude that the songs were confusingly similar.
Of course this could all be appealed so we will wait and see what the folks at Lil’ Joe Wein decide to do.