Jay-Z is suing a small online Australian retailer
Hip hop superstar Jay-Z is suing a small online Australian retailer for profiting from the use of his name and hit song “99 Problems” in books that teach children the alphabet.
Shawn Carter, best known by his stage name Jay-Z, filed a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Australia on November 22 claiming Australian brand “The Little Homie” had infringed on his intellectual property.
The Age newspaper reported Tuesday that, according to the American rapper’s lawyers, the company traded on his likeness and infringed on the copyright of the lyrics to “99 Problems”.
The Little Homie advertises on its website a “hip-hop inspired” children’s book called “A B to Jay-Z” for Au$34.95, as well as a colouring book of the same name for Au$19.95.
The back pages of the books riff off the lyrics to “99 Problems” — “If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABC’s ain’t one!” — a photo posted on The Little Homie’s website showed.
The lawsuit said Jay-Z asked the company to stop selling the books in March 2018 but it continued to “deliberately and knowingly” use his likeness and lyrics in a “flagrant, glaring” manner, according to The Age.