George Clinton Now Legally Owns the Phrase "Bow Wow Wow, Yippie Yo, Yippie Yea"
Published Nov 10, 2009Uh, just a quick note to give everyone a heads-up that funk legend George Clinton now owns the phrase "bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yea."
Apparently, Bridgeport Music, who administer Clinton's tunes, sued Universal Music Group for copyright infringement back in 2001 over those very words. It was regarding a 1998 release by hip-hoppers Public Announcement, who used those words and the word "dog" in the song "D.O.G. in Me" in a manner that allegedly infringes upon Clinton's copyrighted material.
The phrase "bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yea" was originally penned by Clinton and two other songwriters back in 1982 with the song "Atomic Dog."
A federal U.S. jury has now sided with Bridgeport and the company is getting approximately $89,000 in damages, according to the Tennessean [The Daily Swarm]. The figure is based on sales of the offending Public Announcement album, All Work, No Play.
"The money wasn't as much, but the principle is very important," Richard Busch, Bridgeport's lawyer, told the newspaper. "It confirms that even the use of the word 'dog,' if used in an unusual way, can be an original part of a composition [and protected under copyright law]."