Legal Drama

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

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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.

-Uduak

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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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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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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