Published Nov 10, 2014The years-long case between Ghostface Killah and composer Jacques "Jack" Urbont over the rapper allegedly misappropriating the latter's "Iron Man Theme" has been settled in Urbont's favour in a default judgement, because Ghostface could not be tracked down.
The Hollywood Reporter explains that Urbont's suit, filed back in 2011, was settled last week by a New York judge, with the win going to the composer because there were apparently more than a few difficulties with getting in touch with Ghostface Killah (aka Dennis Coles).
It's explained that Urbont first tried to track down Coles through a private investigator, who couldn't find the hip-hop star. A judge then granted Urbont permission to find Coles through a publication notice. After being served, Ghostface's lawyer asked to be withdrawn from the case "on the grounds he hadn't been paid and that his client refused to communicate with him." The rapper was asked to find a new lawyer, but then failed to show up to a deposition. Attempts to get in touch with Ghostface this year were likewise fruitless, leading the judge to go forward with last week's default judgement.
"As far as Mr. Coles (Ghostface) is concerned, we will now submit evidence on damages to establish actual and statutory damages for willful infringement of Mr. Urbont's composition, and to establish our entitlement to actual and punitive damages for the willful infringement of Mr. Urbont's sound recording," Urbont's lawyer Richard Busch said in a statement.
Statuatory damages have yet to be decided, but allegedly won't total more than $150,000. It's being hinted at by The Hollywood Reporter that Urbont could seek to collect by putting a liens on Ghostface's cut of Wu-Tang Clan royalties. Busch added that the judgement did not apply to Sony Records, who also face litigation.
As previously reported, the case stems all the way back to Ghostface Killah's 2000 LP Supreme Clientele, which, it's now been ruled, misappropriated Urbont's 1966 "Iron Man Theme" twice. The song had initially been delivered for a cartoon.
Ghostface had responded to the claims by saying he was covered in a statute of limitation, and added in 2012 that he found the allegations questionable.
"I think it's an old man. I think they woke this dude up or something. He ain't Stan Lee or anything but I guess he's somebody because he ain't stopping," he had said at the time. "It's like, [why] you coming to me? Go to Sony man, don't come at me. But that's what it is. This, this is the game, man. Everybody out for they bread, whatever they could see, they tryna get it."
As for Ghostface's whereabouts, he's doing a meet and greet in Toronto later this month.