For the second time, a judge has sided with rapper Rick Ross in a lawsuit brought forth by former drug kingpin, “Freeway” Ricky Ross in which the latter claims the Miami entertainer profited off stealing his name and image, reports Billboard. An appeals court judge recently ruled that the MMG boss has “entitlement to protection” to use the name under the First Amendment.
Freeway initially brought forth the reported $10 million lawsuit back in 2010 one year after being released from prison. The suit was thrown out by a judge citing “single publication” law which claims he waited to long to file. He was eventually granted this appeal, but the judge in this case has given the rapper “entitlement to protection” saying he did not wholeheartedly swipe the elder Ross’ identity, but used the “raw material” to compile his persona. “Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper,” says the ruling handed down by Judge Roger Boren. “He was not simply an imposter 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.”
“Freeway” Rick Ross is famously known for pushing huge quantities of cocaine based out of Los Angeles in the early to mid ’80s and having ties with the Nicaraguan Contras. He served 13 years in prison and was released after an appeal in 2009. He is currently working on a movie based on his life story.