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Appeals court backs Clinton over lyrics

Nov. 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM   |   Comments

CINCINNATI, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Funkadelic singer George Clinton is the exclusive owner of the lyrics, "bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yea."

The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Saturday the appellate court supported a lower federal court's ruling that Bridgeport Music should be paid $89,000 in damages by Universal Music Group for the unauthorized use of the Clinton lyrics in a hip-hop song.

At the center of the copyright case was the 1998 song "D.O.G. in Me" by Public Announcement, one of Universal's musical acts, which featured the Clinton lyrics as well as several uses of the word "dog."

Bridgeport, which administers the musical works of Clinton, sued over the use of the lyrics and the word Clinton and two other songwriters first used in the 1982 song "Atomic Dog."

The federal court's damages ruling was based on sales of Public Announcement's album, "All Work, No Play," which contained "D.O.G."

The Tennessean said Bridgeport has filed more than 470 copyright suits since 2001 and the company received more than $2 million in damages in a lawsuit targeting the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.

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