In 2014, Rick Ross and his producers sued pop duo LMFAO for copyright infringement after the duo used the phrase “every day I’m shufflin’” in their song “Party Rock Anthem.”
Two years later, the case was dismissed after a Florida federal judge cited errors in Ross’ original copyright application for his song “Hustlin’.” But now, the case is back in court after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals states Rozay and his producers were “erroneously ‘hustled’ out of court and now deserve to be heard on the merits.” According to the court, the rapper’s copyright registration errors do not void the validity of the case, The Hollywood Reporter points out.
“Rappers are skilled in poetry and rhythm not necessarily in proper copyright registration procedures,” a court document states, noting that Ross’ ownership of the song “Hustlin’” was never argued.
In 2015, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams ruled against Ross’ case , saying, “The average lay observer would not confuse t-shirts bearing the phrase ‘every day I’m shufflin”’ with the musical composition Hustlin’, nor without reference to ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and Hustlin’, would an average lay observer recognize the merchandise as having been appropriated from Hustlin’.”
The rapper’s copyright case is now being sent back to a district court to determine whether LMFAO will succeed with their parody/fair use defense.