Plaintiff Curtis James Jackson III, the hip-hop recording artist known as 50 Cent, appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for Defendant William Leonard Roberts II, the hip-hop recording artist known as Rick Ross, on the grounds that Jackson’s claim of violation of the Connecticut common law right of publicity is preempted by the Copyright Act. The complaint alleged that, on the mixtape entitled Renzel Remixes, Roberts’ use of Jackson’s voice performing “In Da Club,” as well as of Jackson’s stage name in the track title identifying that song, violated Jackson’s right of publicity under Connecticut common law. ….
Held: The claim was preempted under the implied preemption doctrine as well as under the express terms of Section 301 of the Copyright Act.[embeddoc url=”https://www.schwimmerlegal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/833/2020/09/2d-cir-50-cent-rick-ross-copyright-preemption-1.pdf” download=”all”]