Peters v. West

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 11-1708
Decision Date: 
August 20, 2012
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.

Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing for failure to state cause of action plaintiff's copyright infringement claim alleging that defendant used significant portions of plaintiff's rap song in rap song published by defendant after plaintiff had sent copy of his rap song to defendant's business agent. While defendant had opportunity to copy plaintiff's rap song, plaintiff failed to show through his pleadings that there were sufficient similarities between both songs so as to establish infringement claim. Fact that both songs used common phrase from Neitzche writing and had similar title and rhyme scheme, as well as made reference to same female super model, did not require different result where similarities bore on well known topics and comparison of songs otherwise reveals only small cosmetic similarities between both songs. Moreover, plaintiff could not prevent defendant from using similar cadence in his song.