Nearly five years ago, 50 Cent filed a lawsuit against Rick Ross for using “In Da Club” to promote his 2015 album, Black Market with the Renzel Remixes. The rapper, born Curtis Jackson, accused Ross, real name William Leonard Roberts II, of exploiting his likeness and sued him for $2 million for copyright infringement — which was dismissed in 2018.
As a response, 50 filed for an appeal. According to Reuters, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals made their decision to uphold the dismissal of his lawsuit against the Florida rapper on Wednesday (Aug. 19).
“The predominant focus of Jackson’s claim is Roberts’ unauthorized use of a copyrighted sound recording that Jackson has no legal right to control,” court documents reveal. Those rights actually belong to his former label Shady Records/Aftermath Records.
Shady/Aftermath currently has “perpetual and exclusive rights” and a non-exclusive right to use 50’s name and likeness “for the purposes of trade, or for advertising purposes...in connection with the marketing and exploitation of Phonograph Records and Covered Videos,” forever. The then upcoming hip hop act signed a $1 million record deal with the label in 2002 after the street buzz of his Guess Who’s Back? mixtape caught the ear of Eminem and Dr. Dre.
“In Da Club” was released on the G-Unit general’s 2003 debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and is one of his biggest and most popular hits to date. In 2004, the chart-topping song was nominated for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song at the 46th Grammy Awards. The song peaked at No. 1 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks.
Since the Queens rapper doesn’t own a copyright interest for “In Da Club,” he lost the appeal based on his original recording contract.
Alternately, 50 could have Shady/Aftermath sue Ricky Rozay for copyright infringement on his behalf as a way to seek damages and pursue royalties. He just can’t personally sue Ross on his own.