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No Name vs. 50, Game, Dre., Etc.
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Black Wall Street Records
Game (The)
Interscope Records
Music Publisher(s)
UMG Records
Universal Music Group
Warner-Chappell Music
Other 50 Cent
Che Pope
Dr. Dre
Mike Elizondo
The Madd Rapper
Short Description Anyone who has perused this website for any length of time will probably be aware of how common it is in the hip-hop industry for "demo tape Plaintiffs" (as The Discography likes to call them) to sue artists, record labels, publishers (everyone involved in production of a rap song) for copying songs Plaintiffs sent in or, perhaps, played once or twice for one of the many people involved in writing, recording, and releasing some uber-popular urban hit. In this case, Plaintiffs wrote a song called "Elevator" in 2002, which contained the hook "This Is How We Do." The song was recorded but never released, distributed, or provided to the public in any way. It was, however, included on a demo tape the Plaintiffs used to shop for a record deal, which they purportedly played for some people in the industry. When Jayceon Taylor, a.k.a., The Game, released a song called "This Is How We Do," co-written by 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and Mike Elizondo, Plaintiffs sued for copyright infringement. In arguing their case, they pointed out that, as an employee of Sam Ash Music, one of the Plaintiffs had met Che Pope, a producer who has previously worked with Fitty, Dre, Game, and others on different songs. Pope was allegedly a regular customer, and Plaintiffs played their songs for him at the store; Pope, however, does not remember meeting them. Based on these facts, the court refused Defendants' motions for summary judgment. The court found that Plaintiffs had alleged facts sufficient to raise the question of whether Defendants had access, through their connection with Pope, to Plaintiff's "Elevator." Further, both sides presented expert musicologist witnesses (Defendants' was Dr. Lawrence Ferrara, a common expert for industry parties) regarding the similarity of the songs and how common the similar elements were in the industry. Summary judgments denied. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Copying & Distribution/Dissemination


Opinions Lessem v. Taylor
97 U.S.P.Q.2d 1803 / 2011 WL 344104
S.D. New York , February 03, 2011 ( No. 07 Civ. 10601(LLS) )


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Related Searches Parties
50 Cent ( Other )
Black Wall Street Records ( Defendant )
Che Pope ( Other )
Dr. Dre ( Other )
Game (The) ( Defendant )
Interscope Records ( Defendant )
Mike Elizondo ( Other )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
The Madd Rapper ( Other )
UMG Records ( Defendant )
Universal Music Group ( Defendant )
Warner-Chappell Music ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Copying & Distribution/Dissemination

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


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