Hear the phrase, “Everyday I’m Shufflin’ ” and LMFAO’s post-apocalyptic dance video and neon spandex from 2011 should stand clear in memory. The song “Party Rock Anthem” was a testament to “party” lifestyle and a huge hit for the rap duo LMFAO, resulting in many appearances, live performances, endorsement and merchandising deals. One person, however, was particularly not happy about the success of “Party Rock Anthem.” Rick Ross has taken LMFAO to court over the similarity between a specific line of his 2006 song, “Hustlin’,” “Everyday I’m Hustlin’,” and “Everyday I’m Shufflin’ ” from LMFAO’s song. Ross argues that LMFAO is guilty of copyright infringement and consequently has sued the duo, aiming, in part, at the use of the “Shufflin’ ” phrase on merchandise. While many might agree that LMFAO was influenced by the Ross song, in order for there to be legal repercussions for them, a judge needed to decide that the phrase, “Everyday I’m Hustlin’ ” can actually be copyrighted. And U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams has decided that, taken on its own without the music, “Everyday I’m Hustlin’ ” cannot be copyrighted. Basically, divorced from the music itself, “Everyday I’m Shufflin’ ” is not guilty of copyright infringement of “Everyday I’m Hustlin’ “. Other singers have tried to copyright phrases as well, and it almost always doesn’t end in their favor. Note that this decision is specifically regarding the use of the phrase on merchandise, and LMFAO can still be held liable for copyright infringement for the lyric in the song. The case is soon to be at trial, but for now we know that Ross and the members of LMFAO will work on “hustlin’ ” everyday to be sure they are “shufflin’ ” away with a win.
Check out the full decision by Judge Williams here.
And check out The Hollywood Reporter’s article on the subject here.
And get ready to have a flashback to summer 2011 and everyone you know trying to perfect the iconic “shuffling” from this video.
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