JAY-Z sues creator of hip-hop-inspired children’s books for copyright infringement

The rapper is suing online shop The Little Homie for use of his name, likeness, and lyric references.

December 01, 2019
JAY-Z sues creator of hip-hop-inspired children’s books for copyright infringement Image via Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for The Reform Alliance.  

JAY-Z is suing a Sydney, Australia-based online retailer for trademark and copyright infringement, according to The New York Times. The Little Home specializes in hip-hip inspired children's books and apparel, featuring the lyrics and likeness of rappers including JAY-Z as well as Eminem, Snoop Dogg as well as other iconic figures including everyone from Aretha Franklin to Steve Jobs.

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In particular, their book A B to Jay-Z uses lyrics from the rapper's song "99 Problems," repurposing them with a kid-friendly take. “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for your son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain’t one,” it reads. According to the lawsuit, the book uses his image, likeness, and lyrics, which constitutes a "deliberate and knowing attempt to trade off the reputation and good will” of the rapper, using his work for commercial gain and has made a “false and misleading representation” of his approval and affiliation with the book. The rapper's attorneys have reportedly been sending cease-and-desist letters to the brand for the last two years.

The brand's owner Jessica Chiha said in a statement to the times that she was "unbelievably disappointed to find ourselves caught in a legal battle with someone whose music we love and adore.”

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JAY-Z sues creator of hip-hop-inspired children’s books for copyright infringement