Update: Lawsuit Over Floyd Mayweather’s Theme Music
Here is the latest in the ongoing lawsuit brought against World Wrestling Entertainment and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. by Anthony Dash. Dash alleges that the song Mayweather came to the ring to at WrestleMania 24 was a version of his originally copyrighted material, "Tony Gunz Beat". The lawsuit says that Mayweather used his theme, "Yep," at WrestleMania 24 and on Raw. It further states that "Yep" is "is music that includes Plaintiff's Tony Gunz Beat track, with lyrics added to the track." The lawsuit filing does not attempt to explain how Dash's work may have be misappropriated and turned into the theme music, but Dash claims he owns the filed copyright on the original music.
On April 15th, WWE reiterated their claims that they initially planned to play a 50 Cent song for Mayweather's entrance but the night before the PPV, Mayweather's manager, Leonard Ellerbe gave WWE's Vice President, Music, Neil Lawi a CD of the contested song and requested the company play that instead. Mayweather's representative claimed that he owned the rights to the music and then gave WWE express permission to reproduce it in conjunction with the WrestleMania release. WWE said that Mayweather confirmed this during statements made during the legal process.
Dash claims in the lawsuit that the defendants have made "millions of dollars" from his copyrighted work and requested an accounting of "all gains, profits and advantages from their act of infringement". He goes on to claim that despite numerous cease and desist orders sent to Mayweather, the usage of the track has continued via online videos and DVD sales. Dash is asking for $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop the Defendant's "ongoing infringement of Plaintiff's copyright." The suit also calls for any and all copies of the Plaintiff's works be destroyed "or otherwise appropriately disposed of."
WWE responded to that citing that Dash is demanding records of the entire revenue made from the PPV, claiming lost revenue. The company commented, "Dash's lost profit damages claim, and related discovery demands for massive financial discovery from WWE, are particularly unreasonable given Dash's admission that he has never generated any revenue ever through commercial exploitation" of his song. They also say that Dash is trying to "generate a windfall" through the lawsuit,
WWE has asked for Dash to provide claims of WWE revenue related to actually playing the song, while Dash's lawyers are seeking revenue details on advertising revenue, PPV sales, DVD sales, parking, building concessions, merchandise sales and ticket revenue for both WrestleMania and the Raw in question. WWE has stated that the song was never used prior to WrestleMania and that the public had no advance notice that the song would be used at the PPV, therefore no one would have purchased the show based on usage of the song. They are also demanding that Dash respond to their requests that he state damages and respond to Discovery attempts, as opposed to claiming it was too "premature."