French Montana Scores “Technical Win" In Copyright Case

BYCaroline Fisher713 Views
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2022 BET Awards - Arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: French Montana attends the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic)

According to Judge Nancy L. Maldonado, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Earlier this year, French Montana was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit from up-and-coming hip-hop artist Hotwire The Producer, born Eddie Lee Richardson. Richardson accused the performer of sampling him on “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’” without permission, seeking $5 million. Luckily for French Montana, he beat the case earlier this week, but the judge's ruling came alongside some shady comments.

Illinois federal Judge Nancy L. Maldonado dismissed the suit, providing Richardson with a few words of encouragement. According to her, French Montana merely took home a “technical win," and says that he “should not claim [it] as a substantive victory.”

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Judge Claims "Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery"

French Montana attends "Halftime" Premiere during the Tribeca Festival Opening Night on June 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

“If it is any consolation, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Court hopes that Richardson will not be deterred in his musical endeavors, now armed with a better understanding of copyright law,” Maldonado explains in her ruling. “As it is, though, Richardson’s evidence in this particular case is insufficient to establish copyright infringement.”

“Unfortunately for Richardson, his express admission in this case that he has only a sound recording copyright, and not one for a musical composition, means that he does not have exclusive rights in the generic sounds or melodies of HPW," she adds. Maldonado insists that had Richardson registered for copyright of his musical composition, her ruling “might have been very different.” She claims that “In that case, Richardson’s expert evidence as to the similarity of the ‘sounds’ or melodies of the songs likely would have been enough to send this case to trial... But with a sound recording registration only, Richardson’s means for establishing infringement are much more limited.” What do you think of French Montana winning his copyright case? What about the judge's comments? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below, and keep an eye on HNHH for more updates.

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About The Author
Caroline Fisher is a News Writer at HotNewHipHop from Chicago, Illinois. She started at HNHH this year, and has since spent her time writing about all that is newsworthy in the world of hip-hop. With a drive for hunting down the hottest stories, she enjoys documenting new developments in culture and entertainment. She also has an appreciation for hip-hop and seeks to cover the most important trends and shifts. She has a Bachelor of Arts which she received at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having graduated in 2022, she majored in English with a concentration in Media, Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. Specializing all things music, pop culture and entertainment, some of her favorite musical artists include Snoop Dogg, OutKast, and Nicki Minaj. When she’s not writing about music she’s also a fan of attending shows, watching the latest movies, staying up-to-date with current events, photography, and poetry.