Snoop Dogg is facing a copyright lawsuit from lawyers at a media firm who allege he ripped off their viral video.
In a case filed at the Los Angeles federal court on Monday, lawyers for the media outlet FreedomNews.TV have accused the rapper, real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., of posting the footage, which features a protester trying to scale a Manhattan office building, without their permission.
According to Billboard.com, they have accused Snoop of stealing copyrighted video of the April incident, in which a protester fell to the ground while trying to scale JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters.
The allegedly unlicensed video, which the star gave the caption “Dummy of the Week” as part of a regular series he posts on his page, was still live on his Instagram account on Tuesday and has been viewed more than 4.5 million times since it was posted on 3 April.
Bosses at FreedomNews.TV claim the video that appeared on Snoop’s feed was an “exact copy” of their original, and that Snoop himself takes an “active and pervasive role” in curating his Instagram page.
Executives at the media organisation also accused Snoop of violating America’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the removal of “content management information” used on copyrighted works as it was posted without proper attribution.
“Defendant intentionally removed copyright management information related to the video,” FreedomNews.TV’s filing reads. “Defendant purposefully failed to include the video credit originally conveyed with the video in order to mislead the public into believing that defendant either owned the video or had legitimately licensed it.”
Representatives for the rapper have not yet commented on the lawsuit.