An Australian mother says she'll fight US rapper Jay-Z's copyright lawsuit because she thinks she should be able to use the Grammy-winner's name and lyrics to sell children's books.
Jessica Chiha and her business The Little Homie are being sued in the Federal Court by the US billionaire, legally named Shawn Carter, who accuses them of of knowingly infringing on his trademarks and misleading conduct.
"We are unbelievably disappointed to find ourselves caught in a legal battle with someone whose music we love and adore," Ms Chiha said in a statement on Thursday.
She said The Little Homie was created so parents could connect with their children through something they love during the transition to parenthood and her "love of hip-hop and the artists I grew up listening to."
The online retailer raised $8000 on Kickstarter to publish the "AB to Jay-Z" picture book, which refers to well-known rappers to teach the alphabet, and has since expanded to include a colouring book and clothing.
Other artists featured include The Notorious B.I.G., Pharrell Williams and Snoop Dogg.
The back of the book includes the quote "If you're having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but my ABCs ain't one".
Jay-Z's song famously opened with "If you're having girl problems, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one."
"To have someone like Jay-Z file legal proceedings is daunting beyond belief and hugely dispiriting," Ms Chiha said.
"We maintain we have done nothing wrong and intend to give it everything we've got for common sense and common good to prevail, to the extent we can fight the fight."
It's that persistence to keep trading that has landed the company in court.
Documents filed earlier this month by the rapper's Australian legal counsel note Mr Carter asked Ms Chiha to stop in March 2018 and again in July this year.
Letters were sent between lawyers until September.
"Unless restrained, the respondents threaten to and intend to and will continue to engage in the conduct referred to above," the statement of claim reads.
The lawyers said the retailer and director deliberately and knowingly attempted to trade off the reputation of the rapper, who is married to singer Beyonce.
AAP understands the book came to Jay-Z's attention after controversy broke over accusations of cultural appropriation and racism in 2017 when a customer asked if the company was black-owned.
Source：BLUE MOUNTAINS GAZETTE