Christopher W. Niro Secures Over $1.7 Million Judgment in Music Copyright Infringement Case
Aronberg Goldgehn attorney Christopher W. Niro recently secured a significant copyright infringement victory, totaling over $1.7 million, for his client Anthony Campbell, professionally known as “Rackboy Cam.”
The case centered around Campbell’s song “Everything Be Lit” which he wrote, produced and published in 2016. The song was accompanied by a music video, streamed on the radio nationwide, and played regularly in clubs. Campbell performed “Everything Be Lit” on-stage on multiple occasions and was photographed with both defendants Rayshawn Bennett, p/k/a “YFN Lucci” and Rakim Allen, p/k/a “PnB Rock”.
After Campbell’s song received acclaim, Campbell was invited to Think It’s a Game Records, Inc. (TIG), where he met with the label’s A&R and provided them with the song and video. However, nothing came from the meeting. Several months later, the defendants along with producer June James, released “Everyday We Lit,” which was an instant hit that propelled the artists’ careers.
In March 2018, on behalf of Campbell, Mr. Niro filed a complaint against the record company as well as Bennett, Allen and June James, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The complaint alleged that ”Everyday we Lit” infringed on Campbell’s copyright for “Everything Be Lit.”
After reaching an agreement with TIG and Bennett, Mr. Niro pursued the infringement case against Allen and James. Ultimately, Mr. Niro secured a ruling from the court that both were liable for infringing Campbell’s copyright.
In September 2020, the court issued an order in which it determined the defendant’s profit from the infringing work and found the defendants jointly and severally liable. James appealed this order in October 2020, and in January 2021, Mr. Niro defended Mr. Campbell’s judgement before the 11th Circuit court which dismissed James’ appeal.
The case was remanded to the district court where on March 3, 2021 Campbell was granted a judgment of over $1.4 million, close to $268,000 in prejudgment interest, a running royalty, plus costs and an injunction against James and Allen’s exploitation of the infringing work.
Mr. Niro said of the judgment, “We are thrilled with the entry of judgement by the court and believe Anthony Campbell’s rights have been vindicated. This judgment should be a sign to other artists whose work has been misappropriated for the gain and profit of others to enforce their rights.”
Read the full order here.
Christopher focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, prosecution and other business affairs, including brand management and portfolio development. He represents individuals and entrepreneurs, as well as mid-size companies and multinational organizations. Christopher advises his clients with regards to patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. In addition, he has extensive experience with all aspects of intellectual property litigation in both state and federal trial and appellate courts.