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Will the real Judge Amit P. Mehta please stand up?
In a U.S. District Court for D.C. opinion dated Sept. 17, Mehta, a 40-something Obama nominee who was confirmed last year, cites hip-hop big shots as part of a ruling dismissing plaintiff Robert R. Prunty‘s allegations that French media company Vivendi S.A. and others like Universal Music Group and Atlantic Records infringed his copyright. Prunty claims that Common’s “Kingdom” ripped off his own song “Keys to the Kingdom.”
But Mehta clearly saved the best for last: On the final two pages of the seven-page opinion, he finds he “is capable of concluding as a matter of law, without the assistance of expert testimony, that the songs ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ and ‘Kingdom’ are not substantially similar.”
“This court also does not consider itself an ordinary ‘lay person’ when it comes to hip-hop music and lyrics,” Mehta writes in a footnote attached to that sentence. “The court has listened to hip hop for decades and considers among his favorite musical artists, perhaps a sign of his age, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem.”
Lose yourself in this sui generis court opinion:
h/t Zoe Tillman
Photo by thecomeupshow via Wikimedia Commons