Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Court Slams Bridgeport Music’s Litigation Tactics

CINCINNATI (CN) - Citing "overly aggressive litigation tactics," the 6th Circuit ordered Bridgeport Music to pay more than $80,000 in attorney fees and costs to Universal-Polygram International Publishing over allegations that the rap song "99 Problems" illegally sampled a Bridgeport-owned song called "Get Off Your Ass and Jam," performed by George Clinton Jr. and the Funkadelics.

Though Bridgeport had a reasonable claim, the judges said the music company continued to press its claim vigorously in district court after losing similar claims against other defendants.

"Given the litigation history of Bridgeport in this and the companion cases, it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to award fees and costs against the company in the hopes of motivating it to litigate in a more responsible, realistic manner and to deter it from continuing to engage in questionable litigation tactics," Judge McKeague wrote.

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