Saturday, January 29, 2005

You better back that "Azz" up counselor!

Here are some "actual quotes" from the oral arguments in Positive Black Talk Inc. v. Cash Money Records, No. 03-30702 (Dec. 17) being heard on appeal by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning a copyright dispute over the song "Back That Azz Up."

Lawyer: If it please the court, we contend that my client is the rightful owner of "Back That Azz Up."

Judge No. 1: It would please the court if counselor wouldn’t use such foul language.

Lawyer: Your honor, I’m afraid you misunderstand. "Back That Azz Up" is the name of a hit song that my client wrote and therefore is the rightful copyright owner thereof.

Judge No. 2: "Azz"? What’s an "azz"?

Lawyer: (nervously) Well, actually, your honor, it’s like … like …

Judge No. 2: Never mind. Just please tell me that this song is about farming or mining, right?

Lawyer: I don’t think so, your honor.

Judge No. 3: Counselor, are you telling this court that there is an audience for a song about people backing their "azzes" up?

Lawyer: Yes, your honor.

Judge No. 3: So counselor, if I understand you correctly, your client actually wants to take credit for this "creative endeavor"?

Lawyer: Well, actually, your honor, my client wants more than credit. He also wants to share in the millions the song grossed in worldwide sales.

Judge No. 3: Worldwide? Are you telling me that we exported this song to other countries? English-speaking countries?

Lawyer: Once again, yes. Not only that; non-English speakers, too.

Judge No. 3: Other languages have a word for "azz"?

Lawyer: Well, your honor.

Judge No. 2: Wait a minute, counselor. I think some members of this court are still a little confused about this particular piece of "intellectual" property. I know I am. Perhaps you could sing a little bit of this song so that we can get a better understanding of the work.

Lawyer: With all due respect, I don’t think that would be such a good idea. Quite frankly, I’m a terrible singer.

Judge No. 2: That’s OK. Our understanding is that this is a rap song. Just rap a few lines for us, will you?

Lawyer: Well, if you insist (rapping loudly and offbeat):

"Girl, you looks good, won’t you back that azz up

You’se a fine mother------, won’t you back that azz up

Call me Big Daddy when you back that azz up

Hoe, who is you playin’ wit’? Back that azz up."

(A long, awkward pause after these, the actual lyrics.)

Judge No. 1: Counselor, I think I speak for the rest of this court, particularly those judges who have been rendered permanently speechless, when I say that we are going to cut oral arguments short today.

Lawyer: But your honor! A grave miscarriage of justice has occurred! My client’s case deserves to be heard!

Judge No. 3: Counselor, I think we’ve heard more from your client already than we want to hear for the rest of our lives.

Lawyer: (stepping forward) If it pleases the court, I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision.

Judge No. 1: Counselor, it would please the court if you would "back that azz up." We are adjourned.
Via the ABA Journal eReport.

[UPDATE: a commenter has pointed out the very thing that anyone who reads this post obviously knows (or alternatively, can figure out immediately by looking at the source article)...this is a joke. So, just in case you didn't get it - the panel of appellate judges hearing the appeal didn't really tell the lawyer to back his azz up.]

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to your ABA source article, those aren't "actual quotes" as you say, but rather "how things might have gone (but didn’t really)".

1/30/2005 2:01 AM  
Blogger CRC said...

Ok fine, ruin all our fun why don't you.

1/30/2005 2:17 AM  
Blogger CRC said...

P.S. My apologies to bloggers who linked this post if they were under the impression that the quotes were a true transcript of the hearing. Xeni Jardin over at Boing Boing (a fantastic blog if you somehow don't know) linked this post on Saturday without being under a wrong impression so I assumed it was all cool. It's no less funny than before, laugh...c'mon, I see you smilin'.

And thanks Xeni/Boing Boing!

2/01/2005 1:05 AM  

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