50 Cent comes out on top against copyright claim accusations concerning his movie and album “Before I Self Destruct”.
50 Cent finds himself in the headlines quite often. More consistently for his controversies than his music. Whether he's twitter-beefing up and coming rappers, or twitter-beefing highly successful rappers, he usually finds a way to attract attention to himself, generally at someone else's expense. This time however, it's 50 himself who is the target.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Shadrach Winstead, author of "The Preacher's Son- But The Streets Turned Me Into A Gangster", had accused Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson of lifting plot, phrases and themes from his book. Both 50 and his label initially made moves to dismiss the case. They believed that the two works shared no similarities.
The phrases in question, as found in Winstead's novel were “get the dope, cut this dope,” “let’s keep it popping,” and “the strong takes from the weak, but the smart takes from everybody.” Similar words were used in "Before I Self Destruct", but 50 and his label maintained any likeness was coincidental. These phrases appeared in the project as "get the dope, cut the dope, get the dope,” “let’s get it popping,” “the strong sit down, but the weak work for me.”
The court ruled in favour of Mr. Jackson, as the phrases were deemed similar only through common usage. “They are either common in general or common with respect to hip hop culture, and do not enjoy copyright protection. The average person reading or listening to these phrases in the context of an overall story or song would not regard them as unique and protectable,” as the appeal panel stated.
50 is safe for the time being, but Winstead's lawyer is still unsatisfied with the verdict. “What I find controversial is the Third Circuit’s adoption of Judge [Stanley] Chesler’s conclusion that there is one rule of law applicable to inner-city phrases and street language, and a different rule for language and phrases used by white people in the suburbs” protested Winstead's lawyer.
[Via The Wall Street Journal]