Friday, May 24, 2024

Viacom Wins ‘Love & Hip Hop’ Copyright Lawsuit from DMX’s Ex Tashera Simmons

Tashera - DMX wife
Tashera Simmons

*Viacom has won summary judgment in a copyright lawsuit in which Tashera Simmons, the ex-wife of rapper DMX, accused the company of creating “Love & Hip Hop” based on her proposed show called “Hip Hop Wives.”

Simmons, Trisha Lum and Nickie Davis say they pitched the show to VH1 executives and their project was canned during development only to be copied later without their involvement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While access to the work was conceded, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson found that their one-page treatment for the show was largely made of elements that are not protected by copyright law.

“[M]any of the concepts described in the treatment are general tropes from the saturated market of reality television programming,” writes Pregerson. “In addition to the general scènes à faire utilized in reality television shows focusing either on groups of wives or the lives of artists in the hip hop industry, the factual biographies of the cast members selected for the Treatment are not entitled to copyright protection.”

Further, Pregerson found that even if the treatment contained protectable elements “no reasonable jury could conclude that the two works are substantially similar.”

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