50 Cent Sues Over 'Shoot the Rapper'
(washingtonpost.com) - Rapper 50 Cent sued an Internet advertising company for $1 million Friday, claiming it illegally used his image in a game where the player pretends to shoot him.
The game, called "Shoot the Rapper," shows 50 Cent walking back and forth in an ad across the top of a Web page while the viewer is encouraged to shoot him by aiming and clicking with the mouse, court papers say.
A successful shot results in a misty cloud of red, and the viewer is then directed to another Web page where the ad firm's client sells goods and services, according to the lawsuit.
The rapper's lawyer, Peter Raymond, says the game doesn't use 50 Cent's name, but "it looks like him, and there's no doubt the character is intended to be him."
The lawsuit names Traffix Inc. of Pearl River, N.Y., as the defendant. A lawyer for the company, Ezio Scaldaferri, said he had not been served with the papers and could not comment.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson, is a well-known victim of gun violence, Raymond said. He said the advertising company is using 50 Cent's likeness without his permission and suggesting that he endorses the game.
"For all those reasons, he is personally offended," the lawyer said. Raymond said the rapper learned about the ad after one of his management people saw the it on a MySpace page.
The rapper's lawsuit asks at least $1 million in actual damages, a permanent injunction against the use of his image without permission, and unspecified punitive damages.