20 October 2016Copyright

50 Cent sued over manuscript copyright infringement

A US writer has named rapper Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, in a copyright infringement lawsuit centring on a two-part manuscript called “Tribulations of a Ghetto Kid”.

Larry Johnson filed the lawsuit at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Monday, October 17.

In the suit, he claimed that 50 Cent infringed his manuscript, “Tribulations of a Ghetto Kid”, which he wrote under the name “the ghost writer”.

“Tribulations of a Ghetto Kid” was published by Against All Oddz Publications in 2014.

It added that Johnson communicated with fellow writer, Nikki Turner, about his work in 2005, “in the hopes of getting the protected work published”.

At the same time, Turner began working with 50 Cent to develop literary projects based on the “brutal highs” and “short lives” of people conducting illegal activities, according to the suit.

Turner then offered to become Johnson’s agent, to which he agreed, it added.

Johnson claimed that when the business relationship ended, Turner “still had in her possession” a copy of the manuscript and was employed by 50 Cent’s company.

The suit added that a decade later, television show “Power” aired on US network Starz. 50 Cent acted as one of the executive producers on the show.

Power”, a crime drama, centres on James St Patrick, nicknamed “Ghost”, who owns a nightclub in New York City.

He is also involved in the illegal drugs network and the show chronicles the character balancing his two lives.

The suit said that Turner “knowingly and intentionally” transferred Johnson’s manuscript to 50 Cent.

It also said that the defendants wilfully infringed, and intentionally and fraudulently infringed Johnson’s work.

Other defendants named in the suit include CBS Television and Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Johnson is asking for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, compensatory damages, and pre- and post- judgment interest.

The attorneys representing Johnson, Monique Pressley, principal of Pressley Law Firm, and Olu Orange, founder of Orange Law Offices, said: "Defendants have brazenly and improperly exploited Johnson’s manuscript without authorisation in order to further their own gain.

"This conduct must immediately be stopped and plaintiffs must be compensated for defendants’ wrongful acts."

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