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Shuffling/Hustlin lyric theft case settled out of court

By | Published on Tuesday 12 March 2019


So, when LMFAO put the lyric “everyday I’m shuffling” into their song ‘Party Rock Anthem’, did they infringe the copyright of Rick Ross song ‘Hustlin’, with its line “everyday I’m hustlin”? Yes? No? Yes? No? Well, we’ll never know. The Shuffling/Hustlin copyright case has been settled out of court.

Ross reckoned that the similar lyrics did constitute copyright infringement and went legal to prove as much. However, the litigation got caught up in all sorts of technicalities, with Ross himself ultimately being removed from the case on the basis he no longer controlled the ‘Hustlin’ copyright.

His co-writers on that track, Andrew Harr and Jermaine Jackson, proceeded with the litigation. Following recent manoeuvrings, two courts cases were due to take place this year.

The first case would have been to confirm if Harr and Jackson were still in control of their share of the ‘Hustlin’ copyright. The second would then have tackled the key question, whether a similar three-word lyric can constitute copyright infringement. It was thought the latter could require 40 testimonies, ten expert witnesses and hundreds of submissions to court.

But none of that will now happen. According to Law 360, a deal was done last week after a mammoth nine hour settlement conference in front of a magistrate in Miami. Details of the deal are not known, but it seems almost certain we’ll now not get any court time on the Shuffling/Hustlin copyright question.

Which is no fun for us, but possibly the better outcome for both parties.