A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Memphis Bleek and Trick Daddy that had accused the pair of lifting part of a song called “Around Here” for Bleek’s “Round Here” on his M.A.D.E. album.
Judge Paul Huck wrote in his summary judgment, filed Monday, that the Ft. Lauderdale rap group Jack Boyz, who filed the suit, did not sufficiently prove that Bleek (real name Malik Cox) had copied the chorus from their “Around Here.”
Bleek claimed he wrote the lyrics to the chorus and the first verse of “Round Here” in the recording studio in June 2002, releasing it in December 2003 (see “Memphis Bleek Gets Past Bleak Period, Now Has It M.A.D.E.“ ). The song was later nominated for Single of the Year, Collaboration at the 2004 Source Awards.
Jack Boyz, who recorded their song in November 2001 but did not release it, said Bleek and Trick Daddy (real name Maurice Young) had access to the tune since it was played often during Jack Boyz shows in South Florida during the latter part of 2001 and in 2002 as well as on a pirate radio station in the area. They claim to have seen Trick Daddy at shows on five occasions when they performed the song.
According to his testimony, Trick Daddy met with Bleek on three occasions in South Florida during that time period, and the Jack Boyz claimed that the timing of those meetings allowed for the inference that when they met, they discussed the song.
Jack Boyz didn’t claim infringement of the verses, rhythm, harmony or general structure of their song, focusing on the use of the words “round here” in the chorus and the structure of the chorus. The court decided, however, that the phrase is commonplace and unoriginal and therefore unprotected, just as the phrase “clap your hands” would be.
Memphis Bleek’s label rep and lawyer did not return calls for comment.