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Juvenile Wins Federal Copyright Lawsuit

juvenile

Juvenile emerged victorius in a federal copyright

lawsuit stemming from his 1998 hit, "Back That Azz Up.

Local disc jockey Jerome "DJ Jubilee"

Temple, a special education teacher and his record label, Take Fo’ Records,

claimed in the lawsuit that Juvenile used his song without permission.

After a five day trial that saw both rappers

testify, jurors ruled in favor of Juvenile.

"I feel like I was robbed," Jubilee

said minutes after the verdict came down. He said that he would appeal the decision.

According to testimony, Jubilee said he had been

recording what’s known as "bounce music" for quite sometime and that

most local rappers used his catch phrases to sell millions of records and in

turn, make millions of dollars.

Jubilee noted that his version of the song was

recorded in 1997 and released on his album, Take It to the St. Thomas,

which dropped in 1998.

Juvenile countered, saying he had been making

bounce music for over a decade, noting his 1991 record, "Bounce for the

Juvenile."

Juvenile also said that he performed the song

at a 1997 block party in the Magnolia housing projects in New Orleans, and that

Jubilee was present.

"I feel like he got it from me," Juvenile

said.

The case even saw two music experts representing

each side take the stand, to show how different, or alike the songs are.

For Jubilee, it was University of New Orleans

professor Harold Battiste, who arranged songs for such artists as Sonny and

Cher. Battiste also teaches jazz arranging, composing, theory and appreciation.

"The essence of these two pieces is exactly

the same," he testified, saying the tempo of the songs were similar and

that both songs have the same hook.

Juvenile brought in Gayle Murchison, a music

historian from Tulane University who specializes in 20th centry African-American

music. She said that the two versions only share the words of the title and

the tempo.

"Beyond that, the songs are not that similar."

Murchison pointed out that Jubilee’s song is

in the key of A-flat, while Juvenile’s is in D-minor. She also pointed out that

Juvenile’s had more of an orchestral sound, while Jubilee borrowed a snippet

from the Jackson Five’s hit song, "I Want You Back."

The jury agreed with Murchison and Juvenile.

Cash Money Records had filed a countersuit claiming that Take Fo’ Records violated

Louisiana trade laws after collecting royalites from BMI.

The verdict means the label must return the royalties

collected, which only amount to a few thousands dollars. Juvenile

said that while was mad when he heard Jubilee’s version of the song, he never

intended to sue.

"I really wanted him to make some money,"

Juvenile said. "I didn’t want it to come to this."

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