By now everyone probably knows the story of Sweet Brown’s rise to fame. If not, here’s a quick recap.
News anchor interviews Kimberly Wilkins, aka Sweet Brown from Oklahoma, after an apartment building burns down.
Kimberly Wilkins says “ain’t nobody got time for that” and some other things people found funny.
Someone puts the clip on YouTube and Sweet Brown goes viral.
“Ain’t nobody got time for that” and “Jesus, it’s a fire” become the phrases that pay for Sweet Brown.
Brown becomes a YouTube sensation. Commercials follow, so do possible acting gigs.
But about 10 minutes into her 15 minutes of fame, someone decides to use Brown’s voice and likeness without permission.
According to Brown’s complaint, The Bob Rivers Show, which is sold as a podcast on iTunes, made a song called I Got Bronchitis. The Bob Rivers Show, according to the complaint, produced the song with samples from Brown’s interview with the local TV news station. The song sampled phrases like, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” “Ran for my life,” and “Oh, Lord Jesus, it’s a fire.”
The suit, which was originally filed in June 2012, claims that not only did the defendants sell the music for a profit, but that they also claimed that Brown gave her consent. In the midst of the lawsuit, apparently some drama took place between Brown and her attorneys, because they have removed themselves from the case. Brown is now representing herself, along with co-complainant Sparkell Adams.
According to Business Insider, the claim against Apple, at least, may not hold up in court because The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protection for companies if they promptly take action to remove material whose copyright is disputed. Once Apple got wind of the lawsuit, the song was removed.