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Public Enemy frontman Chuck D is suing a music publisher alleging he fraudulently took copyright ownership of 28 of the rapper’s recent songs without his authorization.

According to Billboard, those include Common’s “Black America Again” and Prophets of Rage’s eponymous single, “Counteroffensive” and “Fired a Shot.”

Chuck D (born Carlton Ridenhour) filed a lawsuit Oct. 15 asking a federal judge to declare him the rightful owner of these songs’ copyrights. He alleges Michael Closter and his Reach Global music publishing company “used false registration and orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to obtain ownership interests in the musical compositions written and co-written by Ridenhour,” the outlet writes. Chuck D is also suing for fraud and conversion.

TMZ reported back in August about Chuck’s legal dispute with his long time music publishing partner. A lawsuit was filed with Californian courts this week outlining the key elements of the case.

Via Billboard:

According to the lawsuit, the trouble began in in October 2001 when Closter proposed that he and Ridenhour form a music publishing company to administer musical compositions the artist had recently reacquired from Def Jam. The two established Terrordome Music Publishing, each contributing $500, along with a third investor. Per their agreement, Closter’s company Reach was entitled to 10% of gross profit from Terrordome publishing and licensing deals. In addition, other proceeds from the company were split 42% for Closter’s Reach Global an 58% for Ridenhour’s Bring the Noize Music (BTNM) company.

Ridenhour says he did not realize until February 2019 that Terrordome actually acquired ownership of his copyrights instead of just functioning as the publishing and licensing administrator. According to the lawsuit, without Ridenhour’s knowledge, Closter registered the songs Ridenhour wrote or co-wrote after 2012 with the copyright office in the name of Terrordome. Now, because of Closter’s 42% interest in Terrordome, he has allegedly reaped “the illicit profits of which Ridenhour has been deprived.

Closter’s attorney Larry Iser blames the lawsuit on Chuck D’s new management, claiming the hip-hop legend has bagged millions through this “very successful business relationship” and only recently expressed his frustration with their arrangement, the report states.

So Sue Me! Celebrity Lawsuits
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