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Insane Clown Posse sued for allegedly stealing a poem from ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’
In a suit filed March 28, Stanley Gebhardt claims the rap-metal group tried to pass his 1993 poem “But You Didn’t” off as their own work. It first appeared in A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and in 2007, ICP rapper Violent J uploaded a recording of himself reading the poem to YouTube with the title “Violent J’s Poem.” Not exactly the clearest video title.
Gebhart didn’t stumble across the video until 2015, but when he did, he was miffed. He’s seeking damages and infringer profits via a federal court in Detroit, which will have to determine if ICP ever profited off of the video in any way. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Under copyright laws, the plaintiff may be entitled to up to $150,000 for each willful violation, or he can potentially seek profits that could have been made off the poem.”
As far as YouTubers are concerned, they seemed to assume the poem was Violent J’s original work. One commenter replied, “Man thats song deep shit Man :(“; another shared the sentiment: “thats some deep shit right their.”
You can read the full lawsuit here.
H/T Cleveland Scene
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.