IP & Copyright

Lawsuits and Copyright Infringement Made in America

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I don’t know about you, but I had a great Labor Day. My sister Ariel flew up for the weekend, and we stuffed our days full of fun activities like seeing Book of Mormon on Broadway and going to a Yankees vs. Red Sox Game. We laughed, cheered, and created the “Adventures of Stick Figure Amber” – where I drew our annoyingly absentee sister into every single picture and gave her some wacky adventures of her own in an effort to pretend she was there.

Perhaps the highlight of this trip was what we did on Saturday and Sunday: attend Jay Z’s “Made in America” music festival in Philadelphia. We saw tons of great acts – one being Kanye West. (We also saw that in our advanced old age of early-to-late twenties, we were perhaps already too old for this type of event. I’ve never wanted to say “Do your parents know you are here?” more than when I saw all those pre-teens dressed in practically nothing openly drinking and doing drugs. Kids today! But that is straying from the point…)

As Ariel and I danced (rather I jumped up and down like an idiot while Ariel stood still glaring at me with disdain) and people-watched, we had no idea what shameful secrets were brewing just underneath the surface. (That might be an overly dramatic opening to what I am about to write.)

The lawsuit about which I am going to tell you is not really all that funny or even out of the ordinary; however, it is really exciting because it kind of, sort of, on a tangent, not really but I’m counting it deals with an event that I was attending. And that makes it interesting to me if to no one else.

Courtesy of gifsoup.

Courtesy of gifsoup.

Did you know that “Made in America” the music festival was named after a Jay Z and Kanye song with the same name? Brooklyn rapper Joel McDonald didn’t. Or rather, he knew it was named after a song with the same title, but he was under the impression that it was his song, not the rap legend duo’s. He came to this conclusion based on the fact that he sang and sold on iTunes this song in 2009, but it was done by Jay Z and West in 2011 — with no mention of McDonald there.

Let’s compare…

McDonald’s song:

Jay Z and Kanye’s song:

Are they the same? McDonald hopes people will think they are close enough, because to celebrate the third annual “Made in America” festival, now located in Los Angeles as well, McDonald sued for $3 million for copyright infringement in Manhattan Supreme Court.

What do you think: Will Jay Z soon be in a little less of an empire state of mind or will McDonald find out that New York isn’t the concrete jungle were dreams are made for everyone? Was Kanye acting more stupidly or did McDonald say something when he gon’ end up apologin’? Will Jay Z…I could go on with these all day.

Ashley Shaw
Ashley Shaw is an Alabama native and current New Jersey resident. A graduate of both Kennesaw State University and Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, she spends her free time reading, writing, boxing, horseback riding, playing trivia, flying helicopters, playing sports, and a whole lot else. So maybe she has too much spare time. Contact Ashley at staff@LawStreetMedia.com.



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