I recall hearing, for the first time, Lil’ Wayne’s ‘How to Love’ on my car radio while driving. When the song was completed, the radio host announced the artist behind the song was Lil’ Wayne. I about fell out of my seat. I was shocked! “What does Weezy know about how to love?” I thought to myself. Lil’ Wayne’s relationship track record is hardly one to write home about so how come he gets to play Mr. psychologist in diagnosing issues with women and how they love? Not fair!
The video is even more powerful and meaningful.
A little bit of the lyrics from Weezy’s song and then we get into the legal action at issue.
You had a lot of crooks tryna steal your heart/Never really had luck, couldn’t never figure out how to love, how to love/You had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever/Now you in a corner tryna put it together/How to love, how to love, for a second you were here/Now you over there, it’s hard not to stare the way you moving your body, like you never had a love, never had a love . . . ” -Lyrics by Kovideonet.
Rapper Rick Rich didn’t find none of this love stuff funny. In fact he, through a lawsuit, filed recently in Los Angeles Superior Court says, “Whatchu know ’bout Love Homie, Mennnhn, you ripped my song. Dat ain’t no LOVE!.”
UDUAK LAW FIRM FASHIUONENTLAW.COM ANALYSIS
The facts as reported by TMZ:
“Lil Wayne rapped on stolen property — at least according to another MC, who insists he’s the rightful owner of the beat behind Weezy’s “How to Love” … and now, he’s out for some legal vengeance.
Rapper Rich Rick (right) filed the lawsuit earlier this week in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming he purchased several master recordings between 2006 and 2009 — including the beat that now appears on “How to Love” — from a group of rap producers called Drummer Boyz.
Rick claims the Drummer Boyz double-crossed him in November 2010 — pitching the SAME beat to Lil Wayne … and Weezy acquired it in exchange for a 35% royalty agreement, eventually using the beat on “How to Love.”
The song’s a hit — and needless to say, Rick’s royally pissed … insisting the Drummer Boyz screwed him over.
LEGAL ISSUES HERE FOLKS
1. We must determine whether at the time of purchase, Rich Rick was sold an exclusive right to the beats and also whether the contract he signed gave him all copyrights to the beat.
2. We need to know how long he could use the beat for i.e. what was the duration
3. Once that can be determined then we get into the copyright infringement analysis.
So this means we have two legal areas of the law we are working with:
1. Contract law
2. Copyright law
For an analysis of a breach of contract claim and what happens in the event of a breach of contract, see the Mos Def case
For an analysis on copyright infringement, see the Mary J. Infringement case.
If you are a music producer looking for info on music producer agreements, click here.
TMZ has the full story.