Yep, you read that right. Insane Clown Posse are being sued for allegedly plagiarizing a poem originally published in A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul and claiming it as their own. (Literally—the video is called “Violent J’s Poem.”)
The poem is called “But You Didn't,” and the copyright lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit, says that they had no permission to “pretend it was his.” (via Detroit Free Press)
“But You Didn't” was originally published back in 1993, and it starts like this:
"I looked at you and smiled the other day I thought you'd see me, but you didn't.
"I said I loved you and waited for what you'd say I thought you'd hear me, but you didn't."
An emotional poem wouldn’t likely be associated with ICP, and Detroit Free Press reports that the lawsuit, filed by Ohio poet Stanley Gebhardt, says ICP needs to take it down and pay for the damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act of the United States, according to the court documents.
"It's a verbatim rendition of my client's artistic, copyrighted poetic work," says Detroit attorney Michael Dezsi, noting Gebhardt didn't discover the YouTube video until 2015, Detroit Free Press reports. Since it’s been posted, it has received over 24,000 views.
According to the court documents, the poem was also engraved on a veteran's memorial sculpture in North Merrick, New York.
Detroit Free Press also reports that the Hertz Schram Law Firm, which is representing ICP in a pending civil rights lawsuit in federal court, has yet to comment on the case. The full court document is available here.
Listen to "Violent J's Poem" (or, Gebhardt’s poem) below:
Would you think these lyrics belong to Insane Clown Posse? Let us know in the comments below!