​Complaining Work

​Defending Works

Abiodun Oyewole

“When the Revolution Comes”

Audio Recording

Rita Ora

“How We Do (Party)”

Audio Recording

Christopher Wallace (aka “Notorious BIG”)

“Party and Bullshit”

Audio Recording

Marshall Mathers (aka “Eminem”) & Trevor Smith (aka “Busta Rhymes”)

“Calm Down”

Audio Recording


Comment by Charles Cronin

This dispute devolves to the question whether the brief and inelegant phrase “party and bullshit” is copyrightable expression. According to the complaint (below) the plaintiff has exclusive rights to this locution because he used it repeatedly in his song “When the Revolution Comes.” The plaintiff did not coin or first record this expression, which he had undoubtedly heard others use earlier. Accordingly, even if such a brief verbal snippet were deemed copyrightable, any protectable interest of the plaintiff associated with the phrase depends upon the originality of the context in which he uses it. The defendant’s number, like the plaintiff’s repeats the phrase in a sing-song mocking style, but surely no one should be allowed to monopolize a sequence of five otherwise non-copyrightable syllables simply by repeating it and performing it in a particular manner?



Complaint: PDF

Opinion by Judge Alison Nathan: PDF