50 Cent Wins Copyright Fight Over “Before I Self-Destruct”
50 Cent and his legal team bounced back after a loss to author Chinua Achebe over the title of his flick Things Fall Apart, with a victory over another author Shadrach Winstead.
Mr. Winstead filed a copyright infringement case against Curtis Jackson because he believed that the movie Before I Self Destruct used lines and the story from his autobiography, “The Preacher’s Son.”
The film 50 wrote and starred in had a story similar to Shadrach Winstead’s book. The protagonist of both scripts were criminals from the streets of Newark, but Mr. Jackson’s attorneys stated that the connection between the two stories ended there.
50’s attorneys at Reed Smith said, “With respect to the various specific phrases and lines which Winstead alleged that our client took from the book, we demonstrated that many were misquoted, manipulated or not in the movie at all and that, in any event, they were non-copyrightable short phrases or unpredictable expressions used in the ‘street’ such as ‘get the dope, cut the dope.’”
The judge agreed and dismissed the case. Nice try.