You Can’t Do That, Homeowners Tell Rapper | Courthouse News Service
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You Can’t Do That, Homeowners Tell Rapper

NEW ORLEANS (CN) - The rapper whose hit "Bling Bling" helped put the word "bling" in the Oxford American Dictionary has been sued by two "upstanding individuals ... who do not wish to be associated with rap music." The homeowners say B.G. (Christopher Dorsey) and his crew trespassed on their property and "intruded upon the seclusion" of their private life to shoot a music video for profit.

Shyrl and John Bagneris B.G. and his crew put footage of their house in the video for B.G.'s song "My Hood."

The Bagnerises say that B.G. and his crew "entered upon the property and residence of plaintiffs with the intent to film a music video in association with a rap song performed by artist B.G., titled 'My Hood.' ... Without receiving plaintiffs' permission and in the absence of appropriate city permits defendants captured and exploited extensive footage to accomplish the objective.

"Further, defendants have acted to reproduce and distribute the music video which includes extensive footage of plaintiffs' home without authorization."

The Bagnerises say they are "upstanding individuals in their community who do not wish to be associated with rap music, or with B.G., Chopper City Records and the other defendants associated with the music video 'My Hood.' Plaintiffs would not have consented to the use of their home in this video if their authority was requested, and as such defendants have violated plaintiffs' rights under the Lanham Act Title 15 USC section 43(a)."

The Bagnerises say that "a film crew and extras of about 40 individuals, trespassed on their real property in an effort to film and produce the music video" on Oct. 8, 2009.

On Feb. 8 this year, they informed Chopper City Records "that Chopper City had used unauthorized images of plaintiffs' property and residence in the music video ... and demanded that Chopper City cease and desist from the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of the same," the complaint states.

But the Bagnerises say the "defendants have continued to reproduce and distribute the unauthorized images of plaintiffs' house with disregard to plaintiffs' demands and without payment to the plaintiffs. Thereby defendants have profited from a false representation of fact likely to cause mistake among the public regarding the affiliation, connection or association of plaintiffs, or at the very least that plaintiffs approved of the commercial activities by defendant."

The Bagnerises seek $250,000 in damages: $150,000 for Lanham Act violations and $100,000 for misappropriation and trespass.

Defendants include Christopher Dorsey aka B.G., E-1 Music and Chopper City Records. The homeowners are represented in Federal Court by Gregory Eveline of New Orleans.

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