​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Leroy Mitchell

“Star in the Ghetto”

Audio Recording

Andre Young

“If it Ain’t Ruff”

Audio Recording


Comment by Charles Cronin

Plaintiff originally alleged that the Defendant misappropriated both musical expression from his song, and also a portion of the sound recording of his performance of it (sampling). The Court handily disposed of the sampling allegation having determined the Plaintiff did not own the copyright in the sound recording, and therefore had no standing to allege infringement of it. The claim of infringement of the musical work is equally questionable. The only similar musical element shared by the two works is a brief underlying “beat” — i.e. a few percussive sounds in a generic and simple rhythm that repeats under two entirely different spoken and sung verbal texts heard above it.

The parties settled in 2019 (if only we could learn the terms thereof) leading to the court dismissing the case with prejudice in March 2019.



Complaint: PDF

Opinion by Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay (Dec. 6, 2017): PDF

Memorandum Opinion & Order (Dec. 18, 2017): PDF