One of The Amp's favorite SNL Digital Shorts, Andy Samberg's Shy Ronnie with Rihanna, is now the target of a lawsuit after a pair of St. Louis producers claimed that Samberg stole the musical tracks without proper credit. Aleric "Rick tha Rular" Banks and Monique Hines of StarStrukk Productions filed the suit in a New York federal court last week which claims Samberg's the Lonely Island used StarStrukk beats to create the songs "Like a Boss" and "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde," but the production duo have yet to receive the appropriate royalties,according to the Hollywood Reporter
Banks received a production credit on Incredibad's "Like a Boss," which co-starred Seth Rogen, but instead of the 50 percent share he was promised, he was only given 25 percent ownership. Regardless, he was never paid royalties for the song, nor was he given any credit for "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde," a sketch that was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Had the Shy Ronnie song remained simply an SNL skit, it probably would have been protected under one-time broadcast laws -- a similar incident arose when Samberg used Aphex Twin's "Avril 14th" during a digital short without permission -- but since "Ronnie & Clyde" was featured on Lonely Island's Turtleneck & Chain, the track became vulnerable to a lawsuit.
NBC Universal, Samberg, The Lonely Island, and Universal Republic Records were all named in the willful copyright infringement and unjust enrichment suit. As long as they're handing out lawsuits, rapper Slick Rick should sue Aleric Banks for stealing his "Rick tha Rular" moniker. "Slick Rick the Ruler and MC Ricky D" have been around since 1988's "Mona Lisa."
- Andy Samberg