50 Cent Sued For Copyright Infringement For “Redrum”
Well this is interesting. 50 Cent has been hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement for using a sample on his 2009 Free LP “The War Angel.” Robert Poindexter of The Persuaders has filed a lawsuit based on the use of a sample from “Love Gonna Pack Up and Walk Out” in the track “Redrum.” Poindexter notes in the lawsuit “Fifty Cents [sic] has not denied the infringement, but appears to be basing his defense solely on a frivolous and immaterial claim that the illegal version is not being commercially exploited, but is given away for free.”
This has been happening for many years on mixtapes and it’s quite common so 50′s attitude on this not shocking. Its the same attitude of every artist in urban music and it’s been like that from jump. In fact that’s why mixtapes are given away for free and not sold commercially. To put a bar code on a tape or sell it commercially violates many laws, but to give it away for free under the guise of “promotional use” has been the name of the game for decades and largely considered ok. This type of stuff is why these labels suddenly calling websites like us “rogue” for releasing them or trying to shut people down or put them in jail for making, releasing, or offering them for download has always been ridiculous. The attitude 50 is taking here is the same one every urban artist operates under and the promotional department of the major labels have been looking the other way on for years. Hell the major labels have been active participants. If you can’t clear the song you throw it out on a mixtape, or for free to radio mixshows and the blogs/internet as a freestyle/remix. Every major label artist that has made it in the rap genre has utilized these tactics so a loss in this case could be devastating not only to rap as a genre but the labels as well. I wonder if they’ll take the same argument that because 50 released the mixtape/track on his website Thisis50.com and runs ads that he’s liable. I’m dying to know what position the labels/RIAA is going to take on this.
This is a major case to watch when it comes to case law that directly affects the digital urban music world so hopefully 50′s ego gets the best of him and he takes it all the way into court (and wins).
Poindexter is suing for $600,000 in punitive damages and unspecified statutory damages.