By Rocco Prioletti, Contributor
[Photo courtesy of Getty]
Riding off the heave of acclaim from his co-created Prime Original Swarm, renaissance man Donald Glover would again circle the victory lap by winning the plagiarism lawsuit brought onto him over his 2018 Childish Gambino hit, “This is America.”
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The now dismissed copyright infringement claim was issued by artist Kidd Wes (Emelike Nwosuocha), stating that Glover’s hook and flow had been “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical” to Wes’ own 2016 track entitled “Made in America.”
Manhattan’s District Judge Victor Marreo offered to Billboard that “[a] cursory comparison with the challenged composition reveals that the content of the choruses is entirely different and not substantially similar.” Rendering that Wes’ politically-charged lyricism of “Made in America” had been a “short, simple, self-aggrandizing proclamation.” While Glover’s work had encapsulated conversely just “what America means and how it is perceived.”
Judge Marreo concluded that “More could be said on the ways these songs differ, but no more airtime is needed to resolve this case,” and that “no reasonable jury” could reason enough similarity to constitute copyright infringement. Of which, Nwosuocha had even been unsuccessful in registering his 2016 composition under the protection of federal copyright.
Upon the proceedings outcome, Glover’s attorney Johnathan D. Davis added in a statement to Billboard that “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.”