La-la-lawsuits: A Look Back at February’s Finest Litigious Moments

March 1st, 2013

Lindsay Lohan lost her lawsuit against hip hop artist Pit Bull, which claimed that the line “.. I got it locked up, like Lindsay Lohan” in Pit Bull’s song “Give Me Everything” was a violation of her rights of publicity and caused emotional distress.  The court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that NY Civil Rights law didn’t apply here because the song is a work of art and also is protected under the First Amendment. Additionally, the court held that her name wasn’t used for purposes of trade or advertising, which could trigger infringement of Lohan’s right of publicity, and the fact that her name was only in one line would also give cause for her losing.

Songwriter Jay Livingston (“Silver Bells,” “Mona Lisa,” “Whatever Will Be, Will Be”) is suing Warner Music for breaching their publishing administration contract by wrongfully withholding royalties and not complying with audit requirements under the contract.

Another royalty dispute… RZA, front man of the Wu Tang Clan, is seeking a court declaration that the 2010 Kanye West song he produced, “Dark Fantasy,” does not infringe the recording copyrights held by JVC Kenwood Holdings.  RZA’s label, Island Def Jam, was withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the accusations by JVC Kenwood that “Dark Fantasy” contains a sample from one of their works.