Childish Gambino ‘This Is America’ Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed

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On Friday (March 24), a copyright infringement lawsuit that was filed against Donald Glover in 2021 over the Childish Gambino song “This Is America” was dismissed in a New York federal court, according to documents obtained by Pitchfork.

Rapper Kidd Wes, whose real name is Emelike Wesley Nwosuocha, claimed that Glover’s song infringed on his own 2016 song “Made in America.” According to TMZ, documents show claims that the chorus, or hook, of “This is America” is “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical” to his “Made in America.”

Judge Victor Marrero, who dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice to leave to amend, said, “Even if Nwosuocha had a copyright registration for the composition of Plaintiff’s Composition, however, dismissal would be warranted here because the elements of Plaintiff’s Composition purportedly infringed upon are insufficiently original to warrant protection, or because they are not substantially similar to the Challenged Composition.”

“More could be said on the ways these songs differ, but no more airtime is needed to resolve this case,” Marrero continued. “We are very grateful for the court’s decision,” Glover’s attorney Jonathan D. Davis said in a statement to Pitchfork. “No case existed here, as there was no infringement, let alone a copyright registration. That was obvious from a simple comparison of the two songs and a review of the U.S. Copyright Office records.”

According to Nwosuocha’s attorney, the rapper is considering an appeal. “Mr. Nwosuocha is understandably disappointed, and is considering an appeal of the decision,” wrote Imran H. Ansari and La’Shawn N. Thomas in a statement to the media outlet. “He stands by his music, creativity, and the independence of grassroots artists to create their own music, and receive credit where credit is due, without the fear of it being apportioned by another.”

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