In 2011 the infamous Lindsay Lohan, no stranger to the Courts (albeit usually the criminal side), filed a lawsuit against rapper Pitbull for defamation. Lohan claims that a lyric in Pitbull’s track “Give me Everything” which says "I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan" (supposedly referencing her stint in jail) will cause irreparable harm to her reputation. Lohan also claims that the reference was a violation of her privacy and publicity rights and has caused her emotional distress. Really Lindsay? A catchphrase in a song is going to be what dooms your career? I think not!
Pitbull allegedly apologized when he heard of Lindsay being upset with the song, but later filed a countersuit in which his attorneys categorized the Lohan lawsuit as frivolous and requested sanctions. Despite Lohan’s claim that the lyrics are defamatory, Pitbull insists that the mention of Lindsay was a positive thing, saying that where he is from, "If you play at the park, if you're from the neighborhood, if you got it locked up it means you run that area." Rapping, according to Pitbull, is full of metaphors and double meanings and he means no harm to anyone’s career, including Lohan’s.
Song Lyrics Protected Under First Amendment
With the back-story in mind, the judge presiding over the matter has dismissed Lohan’s suit ruling that Pitbull’s lyrics and song are protected under the first amendment as a work of art. Lohan’s name was not meant to be used for purposes of trade or advertising, but instead as an artistic expression distributed for the purpose of earning a profit, an area that doesn’t fall within the scope of Lohan’s claim. The judge also declined to sanction Lohan for the frivolity of the lawsuit, however he did fine her attorney due to plagiarism of newspapers and educational website that made its way into court briefs.
Now that the lawsuit has been dismissed and Pitbull was found faultless, he performed the song at the VMA’s.
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