April 10, 2008

Gangsta Life Style

50 Cent, UMG and several of its record labels were sued in an assault and battery action (New York Sup.Ct) for promoting a "gangsta lifestyle" by a 14-year-old boy who says friends of the rapper assaulted him.

The lawsuit was filed by James Rosemond and his mother Cynthia Reed, saying the defendants are responsible for the assault because they encourage artists to pursue violent, criminal lifestyles. Plaintiff James Rosemond was allegedly surrounded, confined, and threatened by defendants Tony Yayo, Lowell Fletcher, and Does 1 and 2 because he was wearing clothing bearing the name "Czar Entertainment."

Has there ever been a successful "violence in music/movies/video-games" suit? An obvious distinguishing aspect of this case is that Plaintiff was allegedly assaulted by the Defendants, rather than the artists merely promoting/advocating/inciting action. How is the 1st Amendment implicated?

[Cynthia Reed as mng of James Rosemond an infant under the age of 18 years v. Marvin Bernard aka Tony Yayo individually and dba G-Unit; Lowell Fletcher; Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent individually and dba G-Unit; G-Unit Records Inc.; Interscope Records Inc.; Shady Records Inc.; Universal Music Group Inc.; Violator Records LLC; Violator Management; Chris Lighty; Does 1-2. Filed 4/9/2008; No. 08-105092]

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