Late last month it was reported that in the Florida Supreme Court, the first amendment protected “Rapper” Rick Ross’ persona in the appellate court case vs. “Freeway” Ricky Ross as the judge ruled that the rappers’ persona is entitled to protection as expressive speech, which is stated by the first amendment.
The judge in the case stated as he ruled against “Freeway”: “We recognize that Roberts’ work—his music and persona as a rap musician—relies to some extent on plaintiff’s name and persona,” writes Judge Boren. “Roberts chose to use the name ‘Rick Ross.’ He raps about trafficking in cocaine and brags about his wealth. These were ‘raw materials’ from which Roberts’ music career was synthesized. But these are not the ‘very sum and substance’ of Roberts’ work.” He added “Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper,” says the ruling. “He was not simply an impostor seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits—some of which related to plaintiff. Using the name and certain details of an infamous criminal’s life as basic elements, he created original artistic works.”
Following the latest ruling in the “rapper” Rick Ross’ favor, former drug-kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross reveals that he’s not going to stop the fight and he is taking the court case against “William Roberts” to the U.S. Supreme Court.
During a recent interview on UGS4Life.com‘s Murder Master Music Show “Freeway” Ricky explains the judges reasoning for ruling in “William Roberts” favor:
They said that they ruled different than the last judge and this was a first amendment right, that he had a first amendment right to use my name. Basically, what they said is that anybody now can take anybody’s name and if they tweak it, as they said, and turn it into a character, you can use their name. Everybody’s name is fair game from what the courts is saying. As long as you tweak it and you not doing the same thing – basically what they did.
When asked if he’s taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court to fight for the right for people everywhere to keep their own name in the same way the 2 Live Crew fought for free speech, Freeway replies:
We headed to the Supreme Court right now. I was so thrilled in my lawyers, with such standup lawyers, that they called me even though, you know they been fighting with Universal and Warner Brothers, two of the biggest corporations in this country.
Ricky added that he and his lawyer have a mutual agreement to keep the fight going even though they’re outnumbered:
When we went to court they had about 15 lawyers and I had one lawyer. And she’s standing up… She called me and she was like “Man, what you think?” And I was like “Man, I want to fight on.” And she was like “I do too.” So, you know, it was like a mutual agreement between the two of us just to keep it moving.
As the interview moved on, Freeway says he’s never going to stop the fight:
I’m not going to ever stop until I get justice, I believe that justice can be won.
Listen to “Freeway” Ricky Ross’ interview with The Murder Master Music Show below (Head to the 5 minute mark to hear Freeway speak on the case and taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court):