50 Cent has officially lost his five-year legal battle against Rick Ross after he used samples of 50 Cent’s song without his permission.
The legal case started in 2015 after Rick Ross remixed 50 Cent’s 2003 hit song without asking. The 45-year-old rapper was seeking $2 million from Ross for using it.
Despite his efforts, the case was thrown out by a judge in 2018 due to the song not belonging to 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson. The song actually belongs to Shady/Aftermath Records, the rapper was signed to the label at the time and signed over the song’s ‘perpetual and exclusive rights’ to the label.
Due to this, the judge argued that it wasn’t 50’s legal right to sue someone for using it and the case was dismissed without merit.
50 Cent then appealed the judges decision. However, on Wednesday, August 19, the judge ruled in favour of Rick Ross once again and said he was not liable for copyright infringement. It was then said the rapper could ask Shady/Aftermath Records to seek legal action instead.
Today [August 19] is a victory for talented artists, as well as those seeking to license the use of music. The Second Circuit’s opinion reaffirms the creativity of artists to freely express their performances in sampling or remixing of popular songs, while at the same time, still guaranteeing that those who seek to license such songs (from a publisher or copyright holder) may do so without necessarily having to separately obtain or contractually negotiate one’s right of publicity.
Furthermore, Mr. Roberts’ remix of was never about Mr. Jackson – but was simply one of many remixes on his mixtape album, which also featured songs by Adele, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Lil Wayne. Artists often perform lyrics in sampling or remixing songs of other artists, as it has long been a staple of hip-hop music.
It has been reported that 50 Cent will not be able to appeal the judge’s decision again. His last legal option will be to take it up with the US Supreme Court, but it’s evident that despite using his music, there’s not much he can legally do about it.