Who thought judges are boring? Well, if you did, you surely haven't met US District Court Judge Amit Mehta.
In a judgement in September on a case related to copyright infringement, the 44-year-old Indian-origin judge stumped all with his epic note in which he says that when it comes to hip-hop music and lyrics, he is no ordinary "lay person."
A certain Robert Prunty filed a case against Universal Music and a host of others saying they have infringed upon his copyrights for songs he wrote and produced. Prunty alleged that the defendants infringed his copyright in the song "Keys to the Kingdom", for which he said he is the "original creator and performer." He said that the song was reproduced as "Kingdom", performed by the hip-hop artist Common.
The court in response said that claims are not merely "unlikely", but are so "fanciful" and "fantastic" as to warrant dismissal.
Dismissing the need to rely on "expert testimony" for to evaluate whether the two songs were indeed similar, the judge said in a footnote that he was on fleek with his hip-hop knowledge.
"The court has listened to hip hop for decades and considers among his favourite musical artists, perhaps as a sign of his age, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem."
That's one footnote that will go down in the history!
You can read the entire ruling here.
US District Judge Amit Mehta was born in India and arrived in the United States as a young child in the early 1970s. Last December, he was sworn in as the first Asian Pacific American on the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Mehta has also coached the public defender office’s softball team to a championship victory in 2005.
Judge Mehta, take a bow.
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