Author's Case Against Hip Hop Star Gets Dismissed
6:00AM ET January 17th, 2013
Contributor : Martin James
A Rocky Williform Company
Rapper/actor/film producer 50 Cent has won a lawsuit filed against him by the author who claims the hip hop star stole elements of Before I Self Destruct from his book. Shadrach Winstead said that 50 stole concepts from his novel The Preacher’s Son – But the Streets Turned Me Into A Gangster.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Manhattan upheld a decision to dismiss Winstead's claims of copyright infringement.
Winstead tried to say that 50 lifted lines directly from his book, but they were dismissed as phrases too common to lay claim to legally.
"They are either common in general or common with respect to hip hop culture, and do not enjoy copyright protection," the ruling reads. "The average person reading or listening to these phrases in the context of an overall story or song would not regard them as unique and protectable."
"Winstead’s book and Jackson’s works are different with respect to character, plot, mood, and sequence of events. Winstead’s protagonist embarks on a life of crime at a very young age, but is redeemed by the death of his beloved father," it continues. "Jackson’s protagonist turns to crime when he is much older and only after his mother is murdered. He winds up dead at a young age, unredeemed. Winstead’s book is hopeful; Jackson’s film is characterized...by moral apathy."