Rick Ross – Files Appeal Against LMFAO

Rick Ross - Files Appeal Against LMFAO

If Rick Ross ultimately wins the lawsuit, will LMFAO still laugh their heinies off?

Did LMFAO really steal Rick Ross’ 2006 “Hustlin’?” Yes, says Rick Ross. Now, in court documents obtained exclusively by Digital Music News, the Eleventh Circuit will now have to decide whether or not to revive his copyright lawsuit against LMFAO.

Rick Ross sued the duo in 2013 over their song, “Party Rock Anthem.” According to Ross, the uncle-nephew duo infringed on “Hustlin.’” Ross claims they used “everyday I’m shufflin’” without permission.

U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams asked a simple question.

“Was the musical composition ‘Hustlin’ validly registered with the Copyright Office, and, if so, do Plaintiffs have an ownership interest in the exclusive right to prepare derivative works for the musical composition Hustlin’?”

After Ross answered “No,” she gave her final judgment, tossing out the lawsuit in the process. An altered three-word phrase wasn’t protected by copyright.

“Because Plaintiffs do not hold a valid copyright registration and because Plaintiffs have not established either legal or beneficial ownership of the exclusive right to prepare derivative works for Hustlin’, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is DENIED and this case is DISMISSED.”

According to (then) Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, the Copyrights Office should have issued the three ‘Hustlin’ copyrights. The application process had issues, said Pallante.

In the appeal, Rick Ross asked the Eleventh Circuit to evaluate whether the District Court misinterpreted the invalid copyright registrations. He also asked the Eleventh Circuit to evaluate,

“Whether the Plaintiff authors are the legal or beneficial owners of copyright with standing to sue as a matter of law.”

The appeal states that the U.S. District Court did not hear a cross-motions as to ownership. According to Ross,

“Instead, the Court, sua sponte, raised an issue as to Plaintiffs’ copyright registrations, resulting in the case being removed from the trial calendar so that the Court could send questions to the Copyright Office based upon the Court’s application of 17 U.S.C. §411(b)”

That process led to the 2013 lawsuit’s subsequent dismissal.

The appeal goes on to cite other irregularities in the original lawsuit, ending with the following conclusion,

“Based on the forgoing, this Court should reverse the Order of dismissal, determine that Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment as to ownership/standing, and remand this matter for further proceedings.”

via Digital Media News

Yoel Molina Law

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