It was reported last year that Kanye West and Roc-A-Fella Records’ former CEO, Damon Dash were getting sued by a bachata group called Loisaidas, which claimed that West and Damon’s short film titled Loisaidas tarnished the image of the Latin band as said film has thematic scenes of violence and drugs.
“Loisaidas” is Spanish slang for “lower east siders” of Manhattan, New York’s Lower East Side, with which both Kanye West and Damon Dash are familiar. The film is about a violent war for the control of drug business in the Lower East Side and the first of its eight episodes was reportedly released in February 2015.
Dash told Billboard last year that he did not know about the existence of the bachata group founded by Michael Medina and that the lawsuit did not “seem logical” because it was just a perception.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, while the defendants considered their work to be a film, the plaintiff complained that Loisaidas was a music video, that the use of “Loisaidas” was arbitrary and that West and Dash were aware of the Latin band when deciding to use it.
However, U.S. District Judge, Katherine Forrest dismissed the complaint citing artistic relevance, after applying the ‘Rogers test’ which helps to determine whether the use of a trademark has artistic relevance and whether such work is explicitly misleading. Forrest concluded that the Loisaidas film “clearly has artistic relevance” and that Medina’s complaint “is devoid of concrete allegations that defendants attempted to suggest that plaintiff’s duo produced the work; to the contrary, as evidenced by Exhibit D to the operative complaint, materials promoting the film prominently informed the reader that it was ‘Executive Produced: Dame Dash & Kanye West’. Nevertheless, Forrest wrote that Medina “is entitled to protect his duo’s trademark, but not by staking his claim to a pre-existing term and then attempting to remove all expressive, non-explicitly-misleading uses from public circulation.”
Meanwhile, West and Dash are reportedly in a partnership which has seen them produce a number of films together, including Too Honorable, which was released by Dash’s Damon Dash Studios and stars his cousin Stacey Dash with a number of hip-hop players like Cam’ron, Styles P among others.
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