Rick Ross lost round one and two of his lawsuit against LMFAO, who he had sued for copyright infringement on their 2011 mega-hit "Party Rock Anthem."
Ross had argued that the EDM track's prominent "everyday I'm shufflin' lyric was stolen from his 2006 Port of Miami cut 'Hustlin'', which goes "everyday I'm hustlin."
In 2015, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams ruled that Ross isn't entitled to any of LMFAO's "Everyday I'm Shufflin" merchandising because a three-word phrase isn't copyright-able when it comes to t-shirts and such. But she had left open the possibility that he could still sue just based on the songs themselves.
The case was completely dismissed last year after Judge Williams cited errors in Ross's original copyright application for "Hustlin'."
Last week, an 11th Circuit Court panel overturned Williams's ruling that had completely dismissed the case.
"Rappers are skilled in poetry and rhythm—not necessarily in proper copyright registration procedures,” the new ruling states. . "While error is not generally a strong legal argument, it is a sufficient counter to a claim of Fraud on the Copyright Office.... In short, the Appellants were erroneously 'hustled' out of court, and now deserve to be heard on the merits."
The 11th Circuit also pointed out that LMFAO's lawyers never even disputed Ross's ownership of the song in their defense of the suit.
The case gets kicked back to the district court, where LMFAO will argue that they were allowed to swipe Ross's lyric under parody/fair use.