Music’s latest big copyright fight has arrived.
US rappers DaBaby (Jonathan Lyndale Kirk) and Roddy Ricch (Rodrick Wayne Moore) have been hit with an infringement lawsuit over their 2020 hit Rockstar.
The lawsuit was filed by a producer called JuJu Beatz (Craig Mims) in Florida on Friday (December 9), who alleges that his track Selena was ripped off by DaBaby, Roddy Ricch and the other named defendants to create Rockstar, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks back in 2020.
Rockstar by DaBaby (feat. Roddy Ricch), which appeared on DaBaby’s 2020’s album Blame it On Baby, has been streamed over 1.47 billion times on Spotify alone.
Mims also names Interscope Records executive Caroline Diaz, as well as Universal Music Group and Warner Chappell Music as defendants.
Producer SethInTheKitchen (Ross Joseph Portaro) is also named in the suit.
Mims claims that he began “communicating with Defendant [Caroline] Diaz, in an official capacity as Vice President of Interscope Records” in 2019.
He says he was also in direct email communication DaBaby’s reps around the same time and sent his Selena track to them in 2019.
Mims claims further that “defendant Diaz and DaBaby’s representative accessed Plaintiff’s Selena on more than 40 occasions in late 2019 and early 2020″ and that when Rockstar was released in early 2020 it “included many compositional elements” present in Mim’s own Selena composition.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by MBW, and which you can read in full here, DaBaby’s Rockstar “went on to achieve huge financial success and is listed as one of the most popular songs of 2020” and “has earned millions of dollars through royalty generation, licensing, and other sources of revenues”.
“Defendants have illegally and without permission sampled Plaintiff’s Selena musical work and have continued to collect substantial revenues without even notifying Plaintiff or paying Plaintiff for his contributions.”
Craig Mims (aka JuJu Beatz)
Mims claims further that “Defendants have illegally and without permission sampled Plaintiff’s Selena musical work and have continued to collect substantial revenues without even notifying Plaintiff or paying Plaintiff for his contributions.
“Plaintiff has never received any compensation for Defendants’ illegal and unauthorized use of his Selena musical composition.”
The Florida-based producer argues that he “made numerous attempts to resolve this matter short of litigation, but such efforts were unsuccessful due to Defendants’ unwillingness to cooperate or accept responsibility for blatant and willful copyright infringement”.
He claims further that he “had no choice but to bring this action to redress and stop Defendants willful infringement that is causing ongoing harm”.
The suit adds: “Defendants have directly infringed upon Plaintiffs’ copyright through the reproduction, distribution, performance, display, and creation of derivative works of Plaintiff’s ‘Selena’ musical work in violation of the Copyright Act.
“Defendants have induced, caused, or materially contributed to the infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyright, including through their authorization of further creation, distribution, and performances of the infringing ‘Rockstar’ song, and accordingly, Defendants are contributorily liable for such infringement.
“Defendants all benefited financially from the distribution of the infringing musical work ‘Rockstar’.”
This legal action marks the latest high-profile copyright infringement suit involving a superstar artist and marks the second naming Roddy Ricch in just the past week.
Last week, Roddy Ricch was sued for alleged copyright infringement on his megahit The Box, which has been streamed over 1.5 billion times on Spotify alone.
Copyright infringement lawsuits have become a frequent occurrence in the music industry over the past few years.
In addition to the litigation referenced in this story involving DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, other high-profile cases in recent years have involved the likes of Dua Lipa, Childish Gambino, and Travis Scott, as well as Lizzo, Katy Perry, and others, such as the Blurred Lines case involving Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.
In April, Ed Sheeran beat a lawsuit in the UK over the alleged infringement of his single Shape of You.Music Business Worldwide