In 2011, Lindsay Lohan filed suit against Pitbull for using her name in the lyrics to “Give Me Everything,” in which Pitbull proclaims, “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.” Lohan alleged that this violated her privacy and publicity rights and caused her emotional distress.
Late last week, Lohan’s lawsuit was dismissed. US District Judge Denis Hurley ruled that the lyrics are a protected work of art under the First Amendment, and that even though the song was created and distributed to make a profit Lohan’s name was not “used for ‘advertising’ or ‘purposes of trade’ within the meaning of the New York Civil Rights Law.”
In Pitbull’s countersuit, his attorneys asked the court to sanction Lohan for filing a frivolous claim. The judge did not find Lohan’s suit to be frivolous, but he did impose a $1,500 fine on Lohan’s Long Island attorney, Stephanie G. Ovadia, for an “affront to the court,” — the briefs she filed were plagiarized from various sources. The judge said that “the vast majority of the opposition appears to have been taken from other sources without any acknowledgment or identification of those sources.” Moreover, while trying to defend or excuse the plagiarism, Lohan’s attorney made certain representations to the court that the judge found to be “undoubtedly false.”
In a smashing display of grace under fire, the Long Island attorney – who hired another attorney, Pery Krinsky, for the sanctions motion – tried to blame an attorney from Queens for the plagiarism, submitting that the Queens attorney acted as co-counsel for Lohan in the suit against Pitbull.
When reached for comment; however, the Queens attorney said he was not co-counsel for Lohan. “I do not believe in blame games,” he said, adding that he filed papers with the court that affirmed he was not co-counsel. “My affidavit clearly says that I was not an attorney for her.”
There are at least two lessons to be learned here. One, rap is an art, so don’t hesitate to express yourself. Two, Lindsay Lohan should not be allowed to choose her own attorney.
Beyonce sure gets accused of plagiarism a lot. The latest exercise of finger-pointing involves Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who accused Beyonce of ripping off her ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and ‘Achterland’ choreography for Beyonce’s ‘Countdown’ video. I’ve watched the comparisons, and it’s alarmingly similar. When addressing the controversy, the famed choreographer said:
I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing. What’s rude about it is that they don’t even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it’s a famous work. When I saw the actual video, I was struck by the resemblance of Beyonce’s clip not only with the movements from Rosas danst Rosas but also with the costumes, the set and even the shots from the film by Thierry De Mey. There are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.
I’d give Beyonce the benefit of the doubt, but this is a consistent accusation. Her performance at the 2010 Billboard Music Awards, for example, was a blatant rip-off of a Lorella Cuccarini performance. She avoided responsibility by saying she discovered Cuccarini from YouTube and she was “inspired.” And lets not forget that her very famous ‘Single Ladies’ choreography was “inspired” by Bob Fosse’s ‘Mexican Breakfast‘ routine. There’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. Watch the clip below to see the similarity.