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Nashville ruling may roil rap biz:

A U.S. District Court jury decided in Nashville yesterday that the title track [Ready to Die] is in violation of copyright laws because it included portions of a 1992 Ohio Players song without permission or paying royalties.

The jury awarded $3.5 million in punitive damages and at least $733,000 in direct damages plus interest to the rightful owners of the song. But that's not all.

District Judge Todd Campbell ordered that, effective yesterday, the 1994 album Ready To Die and the individual song of the same name must basically cease to exist in the retail world: no more compact discs in stores, no more downloads from the Internet and no more radio plays. He said the decision was necessary to "vindicate the integrity of the copyright law."

Wow... well, Bad Boy is appealing so we'll have to see what this means. I can understand the one song, but the name of the album? They don't own the right to the name "Ready to Die." The song may have to be pulled because of the sample, but the album name is different.

Are they not going to give permission for the sample, even if it is requested? I mean, one one hand, their rights may have been violated. But, on another, they have an extra $4.5 million because of it being sampled. The album is regarded by many as a classic and is certified 4x platinum by the RIAA (with 1 platinum single and 2 gold singles). I would have to believe that money can solve anything and it'll get worked out.