Nardo Ranks sues for copyright


Nardo Ranks sues for copyright

Observer senior reporter

Monday, June 29, 2020

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ANOTHER Jamaican artiste seems headed to court to defend his copyright.

This time it is 80s deejay Nardo Ranks who last week filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Federal Court in New York against Jamaican-born, US-based female deejay HoodCelebrityy. He is claiming his copyright was infringed when she extracted significant phrasing from his 1992 hit Dem A Bleach and inserted it into her current track Run Di Road, released earlier this year.

According to a report in the New York Post, Nardo Ranks — whose real name is Gary Henderson and who lives in Queens —is seeking at least US$500,000 in damages.

“We acknowledge that imitation is the highest form of flattery but HoodCelebrityy imitated Nardo and calls it her own — that is breaking the law,” Nardo Ranks' attorney, Taso Pardalis, is quoted as saying.

HoodCelebrityy, whose real name is Tina Pinnock and is said to be 28, is named as defendant in the suit alongside KSR Group, the record label that released the song on March 20.

Nardo Ranks hails from the east Kingston community of McIntyre Villa (popularly known as Dunkirk). He honed his deejay skills on the Caveman sound system in the mid-1980s and got his break in 1989 with Wha Happen Sound Boy which featured singer Wayne Wonder, who also grew up in the community.

Dem A Bleach was his most popular song and was produced by Sly and Robbie. He also had Burrup, produced by Cedrica “Soljie” Hamilton for American independent company Profile Records, as well as Rykers Island, his 'combination' with singer Cocoa Tea, which was also well-received.

HoodCelebrityy was born and raised in Portmore, St Catherine and migrated to the US when she was 12. Her breakout came in 2015 hip hop artiste and her friend Cardi B posted about her song, Wine Pon It, online. The song went viral soon after. She became known to audiences in 2017 with the song Walking Trophy.

This lawsuit comes just days after Jamaican choreographer Dr L'Antoinette Stines filed papers in the Central District Court of California against hip hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and his megastar recording artiste wife Beyonce claiming copyright infringement, right of publicity, and unjust enrichment.

Stines claimed the Carters used her voice without authorisation on the single Black Effect which was released as part of their Everything is Love album. She is demanding in excess of US$150,000.

In January, deejay Flourgon settled a copyright infringement claim he had brought against American pop singer Miley Cyrus.

She was accused of using a phrase for her 2013 hit We Can't Stop from Flourgon's We Run Things, which he recorded in 1988.

Flourgon was initially demanding US$300 million. It is unknown what the final settlement was valued.

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