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Prisoner Sues Jay-Z, Kanye, Beyonce for $2.4B for Stealing His Songs

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 01, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An ambitious prisoner is suing Jaz-Z, Kanye, and Beyonce, claiming that they stole billions in song lyrics from him.

Inmate Richard Dupree claims in his suit that the illustrious music stars (in addition to Rihanna and Chris Brown) stole 3,000 songs from him, and he's seeking $2.4 billion in damages. Dupree also alleges that the pop/rap idols were in cahoots with the CIA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security to pull off the musical heist, reports the United Press International.

Can Dupree sue Beyonce and others for allegedly stealing his songs?

All the Stolen Ladies

Dupree filed a civil suit in federal court in California, alleging the following:

  • Shawn Carter (aka Jay-Z), Beyonce Knowles, Chris Brown, Robyn Fenty (aka Rihanna), and Kanye West conspired with law enforecment in New York to steal lyrics from Dupree by spying using "studio satellites."
  • All parties conspired with government agencies to "extract" approximately 3,000 songs from Dupree while incarcerated.
  • The conspiracy stretches as far as foreign law enforcement organizations like Interpol.

Dupree's complaint was filed on a form intended for Section 1983 suits, which often are used by prisoners for civil rights violations. Dupree's claim actually sounds more like a civil intellectual property claim than a civil rights claim, but the allegations of government collusion make the whole thing a legal mess.

Dupree is asking for $2.4 billion in punitive damages for the alleged song theft... in addition to requesting "freedom from prison."

Frivolous Claims?

Do Dupree's claims sound far-fetched? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean he won't get his claim heard in court.

Lawsuits nuttier than Dupree's are often heard by a judge and then dismissed for failure to state a claim. A case will be dismissed if, even when all allegations are assumed to be true, the complaint does not state a legal claim. Dupree admits in his initial filing that he has filed "10 or 50" other lawsuits in federal court from May 2010 to 2012, and that these suits were dismissed for failure to state a claim.

Dupree can continue to file suits from prison without paying court fees, as long as he files in forma pauperis. The California federal court may hear Dupree's case, assuming he files using the local court's paperwork.

Will this suit end up like Dupree's many others? Maybe, if Dupree reveals he is actually Sasha Fierce.

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