A judge has dismissed Rick Ross' copyright claim on the phrase "everyday I'm hustlin'."

Rick Ross loses lawsuit over "Everyday I'm Shufflin" T-Shirt

September 28, 2015 5:42 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Tuesday, September 15, a Florida-based federal judge threw out a huge part of a lawsuit filed by hip-hop superstar Rick Ross. His suit alleged that LMFAO's smash hit "Party Rock Anthem," is a copyright infringement of his own hit song "Hustlin'." LMFAO's song contains the lyric "everyday I'm shufflin'," while Ross' has a similar lyric: "everyday I'm hustlin'." The lawsuit was built around merchandising rights for the phrase.

United States District Judge Kathleen Williams was asked to provide a summary judgment as to whether Ross' three-word phrase, which was released in 2006, is original enough to have a copyright.

"The question presented, however, is not whether the the Iyrics of Hustlin', as arranged in their entirety, are subject to copyright protection," Williams wrote in her opinion, elaborating that "the question is whether the use of a three word phrase appearing in the musical composition, divorced from the accompanying music, modified, and subsequently printed on merchandise, constitutes an infringement of the musical composition Hustlin'. The answer, quite simply, is that it does not."

Substantiating her decision were other similar cases where artists attempted to obtain copyrights for lyrical phrases like "holla back," "we get it poppin'." In both of these cases, the lyrics in question failed to meet the originality criteria for intellectual property status.

Beyond these cases, Williams also pointed out that there's sufficient evidence that Ross wasn't even the first person to come up with the phrase "Everyday I'm Hustlin'." 

If you are in the middle of a copyright dispute, or if you think someone else is profiting from your work, it is important to speak with a skilled Arizona business attorney. A lawyer can help protect your rights in case of litigation.

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