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Filmmaker Sues Snoop Dogg for Knockoffs

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Snoop Dogg is violating copyright by making unauthorized sequels to a movie about an Atlanta drug dealer and distributing them on his movie streaming service, a film company claims in Federal Court.

Fuzzy Logic Productions sued Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dogg, his company Trapflix, and Joseph Tom aka Fligg Panamera aka JT the Bigga Figga, on Aug. 14.

Fuzzy Logic, founded by Damon Russell, is best known for its 2013 Oscar-winning short film "Curfew," about a suicidal man who finds a reason to live after spending an evening watching his young niece.

JT the Bigga Figga is a rapper from San Francisco who has released 18 albums in the West Coast Rap and Underground Rap genres.

Broadus, born in Long Beach, is a superstar of 1990's-era gangsta rap.

Their company, Trapflix, advertises its app as "the world's leading platform for delivering the best in urban content anytime, anywhere."

In June 2012 Fuzzy Logic released "Snow on tha Bluff," a movie about a fictional drug dealer loosely based on star Curtis Snow's experiences living in the Bluff, Atlanta's roughest neighborhood.

The movie garnered critical acclaim and national recognition for Russell and Fuzzy Logic, and the title's spelling has become a "famous and distinctive" trademark, according to the complaint.

Fuzzy Logic claims the defendants violate trademark by making several unauthorized sequels to "Snow on tha Bluff," spelling it the same way and distributing them as a "Trapflix exclusive."

Title cards on "Snow in tha Bluff 2" state that the film is a "Trapflix original motion picture," credits JT the Bigga Figga with the story, copies the documentary style of the original film, and stars several of the same actors, according to the complaint.

"(B)y creating, marketing, and distributing works that clearly bear Fuzzy Logic's trademark and trade name, Trapflix and individual defendants are clearly attempting to trade on the name recognition attached to Fuzzy Logic's work while at the same time displacing Fuzzy Logic as the source of 'Snow on tha Bluff' works and products in the relevant market," the complaint states.

Compounding the insult, Fuzzy Logic says, the defendants are trying to trademark "Snow on tha Bluff" as their own intellectual property though Russell registered the motion picture copyrights in February 2012 and assigned them to Fuzzy Logic.

When it found out about the "Snow on tha Bluff" sequels, Fuzzy Logic says, it contacted Snoop Dogg's attorney with proof that it is the film's sole copyright owner and asked that the defendants stop selling products bearing the trade name, but they refused, according to the complaint.

JT the Bigga Figga offered to buy the trademark from Russell, but when Russell said no, JT "became combative and aggressive, and indicated that he intended to continue his infringing activities," the complaint states.

The defendants did not return requests for comment Monday.

Fuzzy Logic seeks an injunction, delivery of infringing merchandise and advertising, disgorgement of profits, and more than $1 million in damages for copyright infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

It is represented by Michael Hirota with Reuben, Raucher & Blum, who did not immediately return a request for comment.

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