Artist Roddy Ricch Beats Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against 50-Year-Old Song

Artist Roddy Ricch Beats Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against 50-Year-Old Song

 

On February 12, 2024, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres dismissed a lawsuit that claimed Roddy Ricch’s 2019 song had copied another song, stating that no reasonable juror would see enough similarities between the two.

To prove copyright infringement, you need to show two things: that the accused had access to the original work and that there’s substantial similarity, or a significant resemblance, between the two. One way to check for this is the “ordinary observer” test, which Judge Torres used here as noted in the court records. The ordinary observer test asks the question whether a regular person would think one song copied the other.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2022 and involved Greg Perry’s 1975 song “Come On Down” and Roddy Ricch’s 2019 song, “The Box.” Greg Perry recently passed away on March 13, 2023, and was a R&B singer, songwriter, and producer who started his career in the 1970s. Roddy Ricch is an American rapper signed with Atlantic Records who rose to fame in 2018 with his single “Die Young.”

The publishing company for Greg Perry claimed in its suit that the songs had similar melodies, chord progressions and instrumentation, among other things. In the dismissal, Judge Torres pointed out major differences between the two songs rejecting all potential similarities that were claimed. The court report notes that Perry’s song is a soul song with a melodic tune, while Ricch’s is a hip-hop track with monotone rap. The court reports also note that the songs have different tempos, with Perry’s being a “sentimental song” and Ricch’s being a “braggadocious song” about showing off wealth and skills.

These differences, as noted by Judge Torres, is the Court’s main argument for the dismissal of the case as under the legal test used there was no substantial similarity that a jury could reasonably find. Without a indication of substantial similarity, a copyright infringement suit will not survive and that is what happened here.

Peabody & Company, the publishing company for Greg Perry, is represented by Joshua D. Wilson of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

The defendants are represented by Barry I. Slotnick, Tal E. Dickstein and Alexander Loh of Loeb & Loeb LLP.

The case is Peabody & Company LLC v. Roderick Wayne et. al., case number 1:22-cv-10316, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is a boutique entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The firm has extensive experience handling cases involving copyright law, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.

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