Jay-Z and Dream Hampton Accused of Stealing the Ideas for the Book “Decoded”
KultureKritic.com Staff Writer
Jay-Z, co-author Dream Hampton, and publisher Random House have been hit with a lawsuit over the rapper’s 2010 book Decoded.
According to the hand-written suit, filed June 13 in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Patrick White’s laptop was stolen in 2009. “[M]y personal computer was compromised,” White claims, “resulting in my personal work to be used in Jay-Z’s book Decoded which was released in 2010.”
“The book contains various expressions/colors/phrases, which correlates to my work, White continues. “After contacting or attempting to contact the co-author, I got no reply.”
White seeks “a royalty for books sold, domestically & foreign territories, from release, and future sales,” according to the suit, as well as additional damages.
In Jay-Z’s words, as related on the book’s Amazon page, “Decoded is, first and foremost, a book of rhymes.” It contains several of the artist’s lyrics, along with the various meanings and stories behind them. The work was one of Amazon’s 2010 Best Books of the Month, in November of that year.
Given that the work is autobiographical, it is not yet clear how White’s writings could have been plagiarized. Neither Jay-Z nor White have so far contacted reporters for comment.
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