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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Writer Claims 50 Cent Used His Work

LOS ANGELES (CN) — The author of a self-published novel claims rapper 50 Cent's "Power" TV show violates copyright on his book "Tribulations of a Ghetto Kid."

Larry S. Johnson, who writes under the pen name "The Ghost," sued 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson), Starz Entertainment and the writer Nikki Turner on Wednesday in Federal Court.

Johnson has sued Turner, Jackson and Starz TV Network twice in Richmond, Va., Federal Court, in February and in September 2015. Both cases were filed pro se; each time he demanded $200 million for copyright infringement. In his new complaint he is represented by Olu K. Orange in Los Angeles.

In his previous lawsuits, Johnson claimed that Turner, author of the novels "A Hustler's Wife" and "A Project Chick," showed his work to 50 Cent while working at the rapper's company G-Unit Books.

In the new lawsuit, Johnson says he showed Turner "Tribulations" in 2005, around the same time the urban fiction author began to work with 50 Cent to develop new material at G-Unit.

He cites several similarities between his book and the Starz series "Power," created by defendant Courtney Kemp Agboh and produced by the rapper. The crime drama is about a New York nightclub owner and drug dealer called Ghost.

"A first, clear, and blaring example of defendants' infringement is the name of Power's protagonist —Ghost — the pen name plaintiff Johnson used when he authored the protected work 12 years prior," the lawsuit states. He says the show borrows its premise of a "bad man from the streets turned good," and lifts characters, dialogue and narrative elements from "Tribulations."

Johnson's editor Blake Keller is a co-plaintiff.

They seek damages for copyright violation, fraud and breach of contract.

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