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50 Cent v. World Star Hip Hop Opinion

50 Cent v. World Star Hip Hop Opinion

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Published by Mark H. Jaffe
Court finds in favor of 50 Cent on his copyright infringement and right of publicity claims. The other claims, including trademark infringement, will proceed.

The website worldstarhiphop (perhaps more famous for its viral videos of street fights than of music) had posted unauthorized images of 50 Cent, from the cover art of his mixtapes.

On the copyright infringement claim, the defendants argued that the photographs were not properly registered because they were registered as part of the sound recordings instead of separately as photographs. However, the copyright office permits copyright owners to register separate copyrightable works that a part of a sound recording in the single sound recording copyright registration - see pages 9-10 of the opinion.

For informational purposes only. Not legal advice. I am not representing any parties in this action. For more information about our practice, see:
http://torekeland.com/about/mark-h-jaffe
and legal tidbits on my twitter feed:
@MarkJKings
Court finds in favor of 50 Cent on his copyright infringement and right of publicity claims. The other claims, including trademark infringement, will proceed.

The website worldstarhiphop (perhaps more famous for its viral videos of street fights than of music) had posted unauthorized images of 50 Cent, from the cover art of his mixtapes.

On the copyright infringement claim, the defendants argued that the photographs were not properly registered because they were registered as part of the sound recordings instead of separately as photographs. However, the copyright office permits copyright owners to register separate copyrightable works that a part of a sound recording in the single sound recording copyright registration - see pages 9-10 of the opinion.

For informational purposes only. Not legal advice. I am not representing any parties in this action. For more information about our practice, see:
http://torekeland.com/about/mark-h-jaffe
and legal tidbits on my twitter feed:
@MarkJKings

More info:

Published by: Mark H. Jaffe on Mar 26, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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04/11/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
-----------------------------------X CURTIS JAMES JACKSON, III, p/k/a : 50 CENT, TOMORROWTODAY : ENTERTAINMENT, INC., and G-UNIT : RECORDS, INC., : : Plaintiffs, : : No. 09 Civ. 5583 (JFK)
 
-against- : :
OPINION & ORDER 
 LEE Q. ODENAT, a/k/a “Q,d/b/a : WWW.WORLDSTARHIPHOP.COM, WORLDSTAR : HIP HOP, INC., WORLDSTAR, LLC, : WSHH337, LLC, JOHN DOE LLC(S)/ : CORPORATION(S), : : Defendants. : : ---------------------------------- : LEE Q. ODENAT, a/k/a “Q,d/b/a : WWW.WORLDSTARHIPHOP.COM, : :  Third-Party Plaintiff, : : -against- : :  YVES MONDESIR, : :  Third-Party Defendant. : -----------------------------------X APPEARANCES For Plaintiffs Curtis James Jackson, III, Tomorrow Today Entertainment, Inc., and G-Unit Records, Inc.: MORITT HOCK HAMROFF & HOROWITZ LLP By: Michael Cardello, III GRAYROBINSON, P.A. By: Karen L. Stetson
USDC SDNY DOCUMENT ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOC #: _________________ DATE FILED:
Mar. 24, 2014
 
– 2 – For Defendants Worldstar Hip Hop, Inc., Worldstar, LLC, WSHH337, LLC, and Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff Lee Odenat: ZARIN & ASSOCIATES P.C. By: Scott Zarin, Esq. For Third-Party Defendant Yves Mondesir: FAZZIO LAWOFFICES By: John P. Fazzio Katherine Braver
JOHN F. KEENAN, United States District Judge:
 This action arises fromDefendant Lee Odenats allegedly unauthorized use of Plaintiff Curtis Jacksons likeness and intellectual property as well as the intellectual property of Plaintiffs Tomorrow Today Entertainment, Inc. (“Tomorrow Today Entertainment”) and G-Unit Records, Inc. (“G-Unit Records”) on Odenats website, www.worldstarhiphop.com. Odenat has brought third-party claims against Third-Party Defendant Yves Mondesir, alleging that Mondesir held himself out to be Jacksons agent and authorized Odenats use of Jacksons likeness and Plaintiffs’ intellectual property. Odenat seeks contribution fromMondesir on whatever claims Odenat is found liable to Plaintiffs. Odenat also alleges that Mondesir used the worldstarhip.comURL on a mixtape released by Mondesir without Odenats authorization. Plaintiffs filed a supplemental complaint against Defendants Worldstar Hip Hop, Inc.; Worldstar, LLC; and WSHH337, LLC, which are business entities formed by Odenat after
 
– 3 – Plaintiffs filed their complaint against him. Plaintiffs allege that Odenat made fraudulent transfers to those entities and that the entities are Odenats alter egos. Plaintiffs and Defendants now cross-move for summary  judgment on all of the claims and affirmative defenses. Mondesir moves for summary judgment or, in the alternative, dismissal of the third-party complaint for failure to satisfy minimal pleading requirements. He also moves for an award of attorneys fees. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs’ motion is granted in part and denied in part, Defendants’ motion is denied in full, and Mondesirs motion is granted in part and denied in part.
I. Background
Plaintiff Curtis Jackson is a hip-hop artist professionally known as “50 Cent.His 2003 debut album, Get Rich or Die  Tryin’, and its follow up, The Massacre, have sold over 25 million copies combined. He has also earned a measure of critical acclaim, having been nominated thirteen times for a Grammy Award. (Jackson Decl. 5.) In addition to his solo career, Jackson is a member of the G-Unit musical group (“G-Unit”), along with members Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks. (Id. ¶ 11; First Odenat Dep. 70–71.)  Jackson also works on the business end of the music industry. He is the president of G-Unit Records and Tomorrow

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