May 31, 2006

Trial began last week regarding a copyright dispute filed by the group I.O.F. against two well-known rappers, Ludacris and Kanye West. I.O.F. claims that some of the lyrics of their 2001 song “Straight Like That” were used in Ludacris’s 2003 song “Stand Up.” The specific lyric at interest is the phrase “just like that,” which is repeated several times in “Stand Up,” while I.O.F. claims that its song repeats “straight like that” several times in a similar fashion. I.O.F. contends that it had distributed its song to several record companies back in 2001, and that one of Ludacris’s record companies contacted the producer of “Straight Like That.” Ludacris contends that he never received a copy of the song, never heard the song prior to trial, and never even heard the phrase “straight like that” before I.O.F. filed suit. “Stand Up” was one of Ludacris’s biggest hits, and according to, the album “Chicken-N-Beer,” including “Stand Up,” sold over 500,000 copies. If the jury in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan decides that the lyrics were indeed used without permission, a second phase of the trial would assess damages for I.O.F.

ABC News Article: LINK
E! Online News Article: LINK


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