2Pac Dear Mama

Pharell Williams v. Will.i.am Trademark Fight, Ex-Fugee Pras Sues Over Lost Studio Time, Tupac’s Mom Sues for $1.1 Million, Promoter Sues Rick Ross and Wale for Failure to Perform

In Entertainment Law, Music Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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1. Pharell Williams v. Will.i.am Trademark fight. 

This fight ain’t pretty at all. Pharell also pulls the same trick he did with the Marvin Gaye Blurred lines lawsuit by going to court and asking that the court grant a declaratory judgment saying, “Look Will.i.am, homie you straight tripping. I don’t owe you diddly squat.” Pharell also tries to argue that Will.i.am has been trying to trademark all forms of the ‘I am” and it hasn’t been working too well for him. Will.i.am, on the other hand, comes back with some smacking of his own. He calls out Pharell’s legal troubles including the Blurred lines infringement claim and basically tells the dude where to go. Pharell tried to pull a sympathy card i.e. but we are supposed to be music colleagues. Will.i.am raises his eyebrow, legally speaking, and responds with, “It ain’t that kind of party, let’s not ever try to make it that type.” I am very interested in what happens in this suit.

2. Ex-Fugee Pras Sues Over Lost Studio Time

Artists, don’t ya just hate it when you pay for studio time and you can’t get in to make things happen? You are about your music and money business and some guy/girl is acting a fool. What do you do? Don’t take it lying down.You can sue in small claims court, where you do not need a lawyer, depending on the amount of damages you claim is owed to you (maximum $10,000 in California court if you sue (natural person); or in the alternative, you can sue in Superior Court.

3. Tupac’s Mom Sues for $1.1 Million Over Unpaid Royalties

The royalty scheme in the music industry can be quite complex. It is one I have discussed and provided extended analysis on here. However, in the final analysis, when money is owed, it ought to be paid to whom it is owed to. Tupac Shakur’s mom who is a co-administrator of her son’s estate, is claiming she is owed unpaid royalties from her son’s musical works by Entertainment One. Entertainment One purchased Tupac’s music catalogue  from Death Row Records earlier this year. Let’s see how this lawsuit turns out.

4. Promoter Sues Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill for Failure to Perform at Concert

Rick Ross is notorious for these kinds of lawsuits filed against him. I really don’t know why the Maybach boss can’t seem to get his act together in this department. He  consistently signs up to perform, receives initial deposit money, sometimes the entire monies according to reports and then it is a no show.

 ” Here’s what each rapper got as a fee:– Stalley:  $5,500– Omarion:  $12,000– Wale:  $35,000– Meek Mill:  $40,000 .  . .  Rick Ross:  $100,000 The promoter also fronted $93,281.26 for flights and other expenses.  .  .” – TMZ

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Archived Cases/Legal Resources to Reference  for Analysis of Legal Claims in the Above Disputes

1. Trademark Infringement

2. Breach of Contract

3. Royalties in the Music Industry (USA model contrasted with Nigeria/Africa’s)

4. Breach of Contract for Failure to Perform (Another Rick Ross Saga)

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the Tupac throwback ‘Dear Mama’ song.

Cheers,
Uduak

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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