Legal Drama

Rick Ross vs. LMFAO: Rapper’s Camp Objects to Redfoo Leading Settlement Talks


RedfooWhat lawyer agrees to let a lay person, with no ADR certification, lead settlement talks? Redfoo, let the lawyers, mediators and/or settlement judges handle it. I don’t blame Rick Ross’ camp for objecting to this.


Alleged infringing song

“How many entertainers believe themselves capable of negotiating the resolution of a thorny legal dispute? Stefan Gordy, aka Redfoo, one-half of Los Angeles-based electropop group LMFAO, might be one.

After Redfoo and his nephew Skyler Gordy — aka Sky Blu — were hit with a lawsuit from hip-hop superstar Rick Ross over LMFAO’s chart-topping 2010 song “Party Rock Anthem,” Redfoo told the media, “I think it’s a misunderstanding. … I know if me and Rick got on the phone, if we met in person we would talk about some stuff …it’d be over, and I’m willing to do that.”
Turns out that it’s not so simple.

“Party Rock Anthem” contains the phrase “Every day I’m shufflin’,” which Ross objects to on the basis of its similarity to his own “Hustlin’,” which contains the lyric “Every day I’m hustlin’.”
Ross has brought a copyright infringement claim as well as a trademark claim. The first goes to whether LMFAO’s song is an impermissible derivative of Ross’ song while the issue of trademark pertains to the way that LMFAO allegedly confused the source of merchandise using the “Every day I’m shufflin’ ” phrase. (The way that Ross is using trademark might provide some guidance to those looking to figure out what Taylor Swift is up to in attempting to register some of her own lyrics as trademarks.)
On Feb. 6, Ross survived the first round in the lawsuit when a judge refused to dismiss the claims. Don’t read too much into U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams’ opinion though, because she only decided that issues such as whether “Every day I’m hustlin’ ” is a common, short phrase lacking originality and undeserving of copyright protection are better addressed at a later stage in the lawsuit. Nothing groundbreaking in the ruling.
The parties — which include co-defendants Kobalt Music Publishing, ad agency David & Goliath and automaker Kia Motors America — are now gearing up for a mediation session later this month to see if everyone can come to some sort of settlement…”

THR, Esq. has the full story.

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
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1 Comment

  1. Porter says:

    The funny thing is that Redfoo, knowing the familial background from which he comes, is probably an attorney by trade, and we just don't know it.

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