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Fat Joe Wins Copyright Infringement Suit Over ‘All the Way Up’

Jan. 6, 2022, 6:02 PM

Rappers Fat Joe and Remy Ma beat a copyright infringement lawsuit over the 2016 hit “All the Way Up,” according to a New York federal court opinion.

Eric Elliott, who claimed to have co-authored the song, can’t sue the rappers, also known as Joseph Cartagena and Reminisce Mackie, because he signed away his rights on a “piece of paper” at a Miami IHOP restaurant, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in an opinion Jan. 5 for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Elliott met with Fat Joe, signed the agreement, and was paid $5,000 at the 2016 meeting, Buchwald wrote.

Elliott, also known as Fly Havana, had claimed that he didn’t receive fair payment or ownership rights for his work on the song. The court found that Elliott in the agreement waived his copyright rights “throughout the universe and in perpetuity” and agreed to forgo any royalty payments.

“Elliott’s retrospective frustration at the amount of money notwithstanding,” Buchwald wrote, “there is no dispute that Elliott signed the contract, assigning his rights to the song, while simultaneously receiving the $5,000 check from Fat Joe in exchange.”

Francis Alexander LLC represented Elliott. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP represented Fat Joe and Remy Ma, who was also represented by Reed Smith LLP.

The case was Elliott v. Cartagena et al, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:19-cv-1998, 1/6/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Handler in Washington at shandler@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at karaya@bloombergindustry.com