top of page

Future Emerges Victorious in Copyright Lawsuit, Judge Cites Influential Artists in Verdict

In a recent legal clash, Future found himself entangled in a copyright lawsuit, accused of appropriating the work of a Virginia-based rapper who alleged that he had shared a track with the rapper's production team. Ultimately, the judge ruled in favor of Future, drawing upon the musical legacies of The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, and the artist formerly known as Kanye West, Ye, to support the decision.

According to a report by Billboard, Nayvadius Wilburn, professionally known as Future, faced legal action from DaQuan Robinson, who asserted that the rapper had replicated both the concept and the title of a song he himself had composed. Robinson contended that Future's track, "When I Think About It," released in 2021, bore a striking resemblance to his own 2018 creation, "When U Think About It."

Judge Martha Pacold dismissed the lawsuit last week, citing that Robinson's claims revolved around elemental lyrics widely ingrained within the hip-hop culture. In her written ruling, Pacold noted, "Themes such as guns, money, and jewelry are frequently present in hip-hop and rap music, rendering them beyond the scope of copyright protection."

Pacold further elucidated that even if Future had imitated Robinson's song, the elements in question were not originally subject to copyright protection. "None of the distinctive elements identified by Robinson in 'When U Think About It' meet the criteria for copyright protection," she stated.

In relation to the thematic content explored by both Future and Robinson, Pacold affirmed that themes such as guns, money, and jewelry are customary across the hip-hop genre. She bolstered her stance by referencing lyrics from notable tracks, including The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Machine Gun Funk," Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)," and Kanye West's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." "When elements are deemed essential or customary for addressing a particular subject, they do not qualify for protection," the judge wrote.

Pacold's ruling also addressed the song's title, asserting that a succinct and uncomplicated phrase of this nature couldn't be subject to exclusive ownership by a single lyricist. She clarified, "The phrase represents a fragmentary expression that is commonly used in everyday conversations and widely prevalent in popular music."

In a report by Complex, it was revealed that Robinson, who went by the stage name Gutta, alleged that he had shared the track with rapper Doe Boy and producer Zaytoven, both associated with Future's record label. Curiously, Robinson refrained from mentioning them in his lawsuit.

346 views0 comments


bottom of page