Dispute over beat license fails to gain new steam in appeals court
Finally, some good legal news for 50 Cent.
The “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” rapper, currently mired in bankruptcy proceedings after being ordered to pay millions in a lawsuit over a sex tape, emerged triumphant on Friday as an appeals court affirmed a decision in his favor regarding the beat from his hit “I Get Money.”
The suit was filed by hip-hop performer Tyrone Simmons, who claims that he bought an exclusive license for a beat from William Stanberry — aka, producer Apex — in February 2006. He went on to claim that Stanberry later sold the same beat to 50 Cent, who used it on the track “I Get Money.”
Simmons’ suit was dismissed by a federal court in New York for reasons of untimeliness, but he appealed the judgment. On Friday, the second circuit court of appeals affirmed the initial judgment. The court asserted that, by the time Simmons filed suit in 2010, he was too late, given that Stanberry had “attempted to repudiate Simmons’ license by email” in 2007.
“Stanberry had made it clear to him that he rejected Simmons’ assertion of an interest in the copyright and had gone on to exploit the copyrighted work in a manner of which Simmons was on notice,” the decision reads. “Simmons’ assertion of his claim of copyright was time-barred.”
“Today the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vindicated Curtis Jackson, a.k.a. 50 Cent, in a copyright case relating to his 2007 hit record ‘I Get Money,'” 50 Cent’s attorney David Leichtman said in a statement. “The plaintiff in the case claimed that he was the owner of the underlying beat of the track, but the appeals court affirmed an earlier ruling that the plaintiff had waited too long to raise his complaint.”