Even though she doesn’t have time for bronchitis, Oklahoma City resident Kimberly Wilkins—better known on the Internet as Sweet Brown—does have time to sue Apple.
She’s suing over an iTunes song that sampled a few of her catchphrases, according to NewsOk.
Sweet Brown got her first fifteen minutes of fame when she told a local TV-news station that she fled a burning apartment building because she suffered from bronchitis, and “ain’t nobody got time for that.”
The video became a viral sensation, amassing 1 million views on YouTube within 48 hours. Sweet Brown is seeking to profit from her Internet fame by becoming a celebrity spokesperson—and that may actually bolster her case.
Sweet Brown is suing Apple, a radio program called The Bob Rivers Show, and a handful of other parties for unauthorized use of her likeness, according to court documents.
The basis of the lawsuit stems from a song called “I Got Bronchitis.” The Bob Rivers Show, according to Sweet Brown’s complaint, produced the song with samples from Wilkins’ interview with the local TV-news station. The song sampled phrases like, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” “Ran for my life,” and “Oh, Lord Jesus it’s a fire.”
The suit claims that in April 2012, the defendants started selling the song on iTunes for profit. It also claims the radio program and its owner falsely advertised that Sweet Brown had given her consent for the radio station to use her voice and likeness in the song.
The suit was first filed in the District Court of Oklahoma County in June 2012. At that time, Wilkins sought a total of $15 million from the defendants. The suit has since moved to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Lawyers for Sweet Brown recently petitioned the court to remove themselves from the lawsuit, so Sweet Brown and a co-complainant, Sparkell Adams, are currently representing themselves.
Adams has represented herself as an agent for Sweet Brown in response to inquiries from Business Insider.
The claim against Apple, at least, may not hold up in court. That’s because The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides protection for companies if they promptly take action to remove material whose copyright is disputed.
Apple has since removed the song from iTunes. But if you want to see the original news report in the form of music video, watch the video below—before it draws a lawsuit, too. [source]
I know many people are going to say: ” Oh here we go again with everyone thinking they can sue everyone.” “This is what’s wrong with America.” ” Just another Negroe trying to get free money”, Yadda yadda. But peep the facts. They took her voice and then put it in a song. Like rappers do…but they did not clear the sample. There was no permission given. THEN not only did they use her voice in a song that mayhaps they thought they were just gonna use for fun, but they then turned around and begin selling the song for profit once they saw how well it was received. All the while reaping financial gain from someone else’s likeness and voice? Yeah… I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t try to sue for that.
If you disagree, I’ll need you to explain to the rest of the class as to why.
But here is my thing about Sweet Brown… I don’t get it.
Well maybe it’s not that I don’t get how and why Sweet Brown is funny, because I do. What I find interesting azz interesting is that before the Internet ( if you can even remember a time before www.) Black people used to CRINGE at the idea of the SweetBrowns and AntoineDodsons being interviewed and blasted all over the news. Black people used to talk about how raaacist it was for the media to do so and went as far as accusing news outlets of INTENTIONALLY trying to find the most ignorant negroe in the bunch to put on tv. And Black folks used to be LIVID at this fact.
Now? We seem to not be able to wait for the next one to come along for us to “like’ and share.
Not really sure what happened along the way. But it happened. I’m as guilty of it as the next guy.