Back in 2014, the MMG boss filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the dance music duo over their hit track “Party Rock Anthem.” The song included the line “Everyday I’m shufflin’,” an obvious reference to the hook on Ross’ 2006 “Hustlin'” single. Though most fans agreed the line was a ripoff of Ross’ “Everyday I’m hustlin’” line, a judge threw out the case in 2016, arguing that Ross’ copyright registrations for the song contained errors and were, therefore, invalid.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the appellate court overturned the previous ruling on Friday, insisting the grounds for dismissing the lawsuit were insufficient. The legal documents also point out that LMFAO never contested Ross’ ownership of “Hustlin.’”
“Rappers are skilled in poetry and rhythm—not necessarily in proper copyright registration procedures,” legal documents state. “While error is not generally a strong legal argument, it is a sufficient counter to a claim of Fraud on the Copyright Office.... In short, the Appellants were erroneously ‘hustled’ out of court, and now deserve to be heard on the merits.”
The case will now head back to the district court to determine if LMFAO’s parody/fair use defense will stand of if Ross will walk away with a victory. You can read the full court filing at the Hollywood Reporter’s website.