A copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed over rights to one of the biggest hit rap songs of recent years, “I Get Money,” which was originally released as a single by recording artist Curtis Jackson, a/k/a 50 Cent, and subsequently re-released by various artists as a remix.
Tyrone Simmons, a/k/a “Young Caliber,” an aspiring 28-year-old rap artist from Atlanta, Ga., has filed suit in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York seeking damages for copyright infringement and other claims.
Specifically, Simmons alleges that he purchased an exclusive license for all of the rights to use, record, publish, re-produce, perform and/or sell the “I Get Money” instrumental beat, from which the song is titled, from its producer William Stanberry, a/k/a Apex, and that Stanberry and others, including 50 Cent, knowingly infringed upon his rights.
The named defendants in the lawsuit include Stanberry, his company Apex Productions, LLC, 50 Cent, Universal Music Group, Inc., Interscope Records and certain of its subsidiaries, Aftermath Entertainment (founded by popular rap artist Dr. Dre), G-Unit Records and Shady Records (co-owned by rap artist Eminem).
“The misappropriation of copyright-protected material is an endemic problem in the music business, and particularly in the genre of hip-hop/rap. This is one such case,” said Louis D. Tambaro, an attorney at Red Bank, N.J.-based Marks & Klein, LLP, one of the firms representing Simmons.
“Our client was granted exclusive rights to the ‘I Get Money’ instrumental and was unceremoniously cut out of the loop when the defendants realized they had a huge hit on their hands.”
“This type of infringement is simply not fair and will not be tolerated,” added Kevin B. Legreide, an attorney at Legreide & Ceres, Toms River, N.J., which also represents Simmons.