Jay-Z plans to give Aussie e-tailer 99 problems in court
Jay-Z has initiated a legal battle with little known Sydney-based e-tailer The Little Homie.
He filed suit in the Federal Court on November 22 claiming that the company infringed his trademark in her series of kiddies hip hop books.
The Little Homie was set up by Jessica Chiha, a hip hop enthusiast who decided to publish a series of books and clothes designed for “the next generation of hood rats” when she had her first child.
It uses rap celebrity to teach kids, including counting (1 2 3 With The Notorious B.I.G.) and speaking (the forthcoming First 50 Words With 50 Cent).
In 2017 it raised A$8000 on Kickstarter to produce a picture book AB To Jay-Z, which teaches the alphabet by using music celebrities.
The book retails for A$34.95 with an accompanying colouring book for $19.95.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, documents filed in the Federal Court under his real name Shawn Carter claims that Chiha and The Little Homie infringed his intellectual property.
He also claims that Chiha is profiting from using his name and likeness, and printing the lyrics to his hit ’99 Problems’ on the back page of the book.
The lyric in question: ‘If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABC’s ain’t one!’
The rapper’s song references ‘girl problems’ rather than ‘alphabet problems’.
This use was, claims the lawsuit, is “calculated to injure, has injured and is continuing to injure the reputation and goodwill of Mr Carter”.
The rapper’s Australian attorneys King & Wood Mallesons added in their claim that the rapper had contacted the etailer in March 2018 to stop infringing his copyright but it continued to “deliberately and knowingly” use his likeness and lyrics in a “flagrant, glaring” manner.
The case is scheduled for an initial hearing on December 6. The Little Homie has not presented its defence to the court as yet.