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Label removed from Tekashi 6ix9ine sample lawsuit on jurisdiction grounds

By | Published on Monday 1 February 2021

Tekashi 6ix9ine

A New York court last week took record label TenThousand Projects off a lawsuit filed against Tekashi 6ix9ine over his track ‘Stoopid’. The rapper pursuing the case, Yung Gordon, failed to demonstrate that the New York court had jurisdiction over the Californian label.

Yung Gorden – real name Seth Gordon – sued 6ix9ine and the music rights companies he works with a year ago claiming that most versions of 2018 track ‘Stoopid’ open with a sample of a ‘radio drop’ he previously recorded for a company called Take Money Promotions. The inclusion of the radio drop on the track had not been cleared with Gorden.

The lawsuit stated that “plaintiff was never contacted by any of the defendants prior to the release of the song ‘Stoopid’ and all of the uses of plaintiff’s work are and continue to be unauthorised and used without permission or consent”.

“Accordingly”, it went on, “by reproducing and distributing plaintiffs copyrighted material, defendants have infringed plaintiff’s exclusive rights in the musical composition of the Yung Gordon intro”.

However, one the music companies sued by Gordon, the aforementioned TenThousand Projects, sought to be removed from the litigation, arguing that the New York courts had no jurisdiction as it is based in California, and its record contract with 6ix9ine, real name Daniel Hernandez, is governed by Californian law.

Gordon’s legal team argued that because TenThousand Projects worked with New York-based Hernandez, who is repped by a New York-based lawyer, the New York courts did have jurisdiction over the label.

However, the judge overseeing the case, Ann M Donnelly, did not concur. Citing previous precedent in the New York courts, she wrote: “TenThousand’s contract with Tekashi 6ix9ine does not, by itself, establish that this court has personal jurisdiction over TenThousand. The parties entered into the agreement in California, and the agreement includes California venue and choice of law provisions”.

For that reason, she ultimately concluded, “TenThousand’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint … for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted”.