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Childish Gambino Scores Big Win To Shut Down “This Is America” Lawsuit

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Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino secured another victory in a legal battle over his 2018 single “This Is America.” According to Billboard, an appeals court refused to let rapper Kidd Wes revive his copyright infringement lawsuit against Glover.

Kidd Wes, whose real name is Emelike Nwosuocha, sued Glover for copyright infringement in 2021. Kidd Wes claimed “This Is America” plagiarized his song “Made in America,” which dropped in 2016.

Judge Victor Marrero dismissed the lawsuit in 2023. Kidd Wess lost on a technicality by failing to copyright the underlying musical composition of his song, but the judge saw little merit in the lawsuit’s arguments.

“Even if [Kidd Wes] had a copyright registration for the composition … dismissal would be warranted here because the elements of [the] composition purportedly infringed upon are insufficiently original to warrant protection or because they are not substantially similar to the challenged Composition, the judge noted.

Kidd Wes filed an appeal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld Judge Marrero’s ruling on May 10.

“Nwosuocha’s problem is that his copyright registration is simply for the wrong work,” the court determined. “That distinction is important.”

The court’s decision likely ended the legal dispute. Kidd Wes would have to petition the Supreme Court to hear his case if he wanted to keep pursuing the lawsuit against Glover.

Glover surprised fans by dropping a Childish Gambino project titled Atavista on Sunday (May 12). He also teased a new album.

ATAVISTA is streaming now,” he wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). “this album is the finished version of 3.15.20, the album i put out 4 years ago. there’s a special vinyl coming soon w/ visuals for each song. the all new childish gambino album comes out in the summer.”

Glover announced a world tour following the release of Atavista. The tour is scheduled to begin in August and conclude in February 2025.

Justin Ivey

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