3 Count: Make Em Say

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1: NLE Choppa Sued by Atlanta Rapper Kilo Ali for Alleged Copyright Infringement

First off today, Murray Stassen at Music Business Worldwide reports that American rap star NLE Choppa is facing a lawsuit over his track Make Em Say.

The lawsuit was filed by Atlanta-based rapper Kilo Ali, who alleges that NLE Choppa ripped off the vocal track of his song, Love in Ya Mouth when creating Make Em Say. According to Ali, Love in Ya Mouth was released in 1997 and Make Em Say in August 2020.

According to the complaint, Ali claims that the “flow and pitch of the post-chorus” in Choppa’s track is substantially similar to his, and he notes further similarities in the lyrics of both the chorus and post-chorus. The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury, as well as damages related to copyright infringement, unfair trade practices and unfair competition.

2: Agency Photographer Attempts to Take Back Copyright in ‘Game-Changer’ Lawsuit

Next up today, Charlotte Tobitt at the PressGazette reports that, in Portugal, a photographer is suing the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency to try and reclaim the rights in images he took while working both as a contractor and an employee. However, the AFP’s response to the lawsuit may change the way copyright is enforced in press works.

Photographer Francisco Leong is suing the agency, alleging that a clause in his contract violated a Journalistic Statute in Portugal that gives journalists ultimate rights to their works. However, according to Leong’s union, the AFP’s defense makes the claim that Leong’s work, and all news photography, do not deserve protection under copyright law.

According to the AFP, “mere news or photographs that merely report news events are not creative” and, as such, do not deserve copyright protection. However, when asked about this, the AFP told the publication that the photos in question are not public domain because the rights are held by the AFP. This has led to accusations that the AFP is waging a “scorched earth” war against its non-French staff.

3: Kitano Takeshi Sues Longtime Partner Bandai Over Copyright and Royalties

Finally today, Mark Schilling at Variety reports that Japanese actor and director Kitano Takeshi has filed a lawsuit against Bandai Namco Arts for alleged copyright infringement and unpaid royalties for his work.

According to the lawsuits, Kitano and Bandai had a decades-long relationship that has spans some 15 films. However, Kitano claims that he has not been compensated for scripting and directing those movies, including several award-winning hits.

However, Bandai has responded to the lawsuit, saying that the dispute should actually be from the various production companies that Kitano worked with directly and that his production company, Office Kitano, has further complicated matters. Bandai has said it will pay royalties for the rights it acquired after December 2018, when Kitano left his company.

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