A copyright case surrounding the Childish Gambino track ‘This Is America’ has been thrown out by a Manhattan judge who decided to dismiss the lawsuit.
Gambino was sued by the rapper, Kidd West (real name Emelike Nwosuocha), after being accused of copying Nwosoucha’s 2016 song, ‘Made In America’. According to a report, he was seeking a trial and wanted to claim damages in 43 categories, including record sales, downloads, streaming revenue, and merchandising.
Judge Victor Marrero said: “A cursory comparison with the challenged composition reveals that the content of the choruses is entirely different and not substantially similar.” He also explained Nwosuocha’s lyrics were a “short, simple, self-aggrandizing proclamation” but Glover’s words examined “what America means and how it is perceived.”
Judge Marrero also said: “Even if Nwosuocha had a copyright registration for the composition of Plaintiff’s Composition, however, dismissal would be warranted here because the elements of Plaintiff’s Composition purportedly infringed upon are insufficiently original to warrant protection, or because they are not substantially similar to the Challenged Composition”.
“More could be said on the ways these songs differ, but no more airtime is needed to resolve this case,” he added. Meanwhile, Nwosuocha’s attorneys, Imran H. Ansari and La’Shawn N. Thomas, provided a statement to Pitchfork, and said their client is “understandably disappointed, and is considering an appeal of the decision”.
“He stands by his music, creativity, and the independence of grassroots artists to create their own music, and receive credit where credit is due, without the fear of it being apportioned by another,” Ansari and Thomas added.
Childish Gambino and his representatives are yet to comment on the proceedings. He also recently shared the soundtrack for the new Amazon Prime series Swarm.