Rapper 50 Cent won a victory in a Miami Court yesterday (Oct. 27) when a judge threw out a copyright infringement lawsuit that accused the rapper of stealing the chorus to his hit single, “In Da Club.”
Attorney Richard C. Wolfe filed the 27-page lawsuit in January on behalf of attorney Joseph Weinberger and Lil’ Joe Wein Music Company.
The lawsuit claimed the chorus “Go Shorty, it’s you’re birthday…” from 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” was lifted from Luther “Luke” Campbell’s song “It’s Your Birthday.”
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck ruled that the chorus was a “common, unoriginal, and noncopyrightable element of the song” and therefore cannot be protected.
“We are pleased by the clarity brought by U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck by proclaiming what 50 and his team always knew was a frivolous and money grubbing attempt by the Lil’ Joe Wein Music Company,” 50 Cent’s manager Chris Lighty told AllHipHop.com.
Judge Huck also ruled that there were “almost no similarities between the works” and that the disputed lines were only eleven seconds of a more than three-minute song.
“We are also pleased that we were able to defend a lesser known part of the case [the words] ‘I like it, I love it’ as a phrase non-copyrightable,” Lighty revealed. “This was an important stance and win for 50’s publishing entity so we can continue to grow and protect what is one of the most important artist held publishing entities right now.”
“It’s Your Birthday” is taken from Campbell’s 1994 album Still a Freak for Life.
Weinberger is an attorney who also once represented Luke and was a Chief Financial Officer for Luke Records.
He acquired Luke’s catalog when the Miami-pioneer filed for bankruptcy protection in the mid-90’s.
The original lawsuit also named Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records and Universal Records.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed in January, Luke distanced himself from the legal proceedings stating: “Let the record reflect that Joe Weinberger and [Weinberger’s attorney] Richard Wolfe are the individuals who are suing 50,” Luke told AllHipHop.com. “They are not suing on behalf of me or any member of the 2 Live Crew.”
“We are thankful for the support from Luke who completely stated from day one he wasn’t part of this lawsuit,” Lighty said.