The Last Poets Copyright Lawsuit Against The Notorious B.I.G. Estate Has Been Dismissed
Biggie’s estate just won a victory.
A case stemming from the copyright lawsuit spoken-word legend Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets filed over The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1993 song, “Party and Bullshit” was dismissed by a District Judge Wednesday.
Oyewole filed the suit in March of 24, seeking $24 million in damages after claiming the title and hook of the song borrowed lyrics from his 1968 classic, “When The Revolution Comes.” The original lawsuit also included Rita Ora‘s “How We Do (Party)” where “Party and Bullshit” is sampled on the hook, and Busta Rhymes and Eminem‘s “Calm Down.” Oyewole later voluntarily dismissed the claim. Nearly 14 defendants were named in the suit, including Diddy, Easy Mo Bee, and Berry Gordy, Jr.
United States District Judge Alison J. Nathan found Oyewole responsible for failure to state a claim, insufficient process, insufficient service of process and protections under the Fair Use doctrine.
The judge charged Oyewole failed to serve Kobalt and Downtown with the lawsuit within the time frame given by the court, even after an extension was given, and never served Sheehan, Gordy, Easy Moe Bee, Bee Moe Easy, EMI, Justin Combs Company or Stone Diamond Music with paperwork. For the defendants who were served, the court found that the fair use doctrine applied to “Party and Bullshit” and “How We Do (Party)” and therefore the two songs do not infringe on Oyewole’s copyright for “When The Revolution Comes.”
The dismissal and ultimate victory on the side of Biggie’s estate occurred around the time of the rap legend’s 21st death anniversary.
“This is a well-earned victory for the Estate, and it seems like a message from Christopher to receive it on the anniversary of his passing,” The Notorious B.I.G. estate attorney Julian Petty said in a statement. “We’re honored to represent a client who is willing to fight and defend such a important legacy.”