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50 Cent Wins in Copyright Infringement Case at the Second Circuit

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on January 22, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The rapper 50 Cent was given a victory in court by the Second Circuit's Court of Appeals by tossing out the copyright suit "Young Caliber" brought against him.

But rather than something as complex as a debate over exclusive or non-exclusive use of copyright, it turns out that the plaintiff's downfall was the age old laches.

"I Get Money"

Remember the 50 Cent track "I Get Money" from the album Curtis? Tyrone Simmons certainly does. The Atlanta plaintiff and rapper came forward about three years after "I Get Money" was released and alleged in his complaint that he had purchased the instrumental background from sound producer Apex before 50 Cent added his own special touches, and that he had exclusive rights to that track.

Don't Wait Too Long

At all stages of his case, Simmons found no relief. At trial, his case was dismissed on the basis of exceeding its statute of limitations. The Second Circuit vindicated 50 Cent and affirmed the ruling that Simmons waited too long before bringing his complaint.

One can only wonder why Simmons waited so long. Was it his lawyer? If so, Simmons has a nice case of malpractice served on a platter.

One Suit Down, More to Go

The rapper has been on the receiving end of a lot of losing litigation lately. Earlier last year he was ordered to pay several millions in dollars to Lastonia Leviston, the mother of rival Rick Ross' child because he went out and posted her sex tape to his website, and narrated over the audio about how flawed her body was.

Around the same time, The Wall Street Journal reported that he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with $10 million in assets and $50 million in debts. Thos numbers are shocking, but only become more perplexing when one considers that Cent was thought to have had a net worth of approximately $270 million thanks to business deals outside of the music industry.

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