$3 Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against Dr. Dre Dismissed
An invasion of privacy lawsuit against producer Dr. Dre over a videotaped conversation featured on the "Up In Smoke" DVD was dismissed last week, according to reports.
On December 4, 2007, Judge John A. Murphy dismissed a lawsuit filed by three former City of Detroit employees, who sued the producer for $3 billion dollars, over a taped conversation featured on the "Up In Smoke" DVD.
Judge Murphy dismissed the lawsuit, after finding that the city workers had no reason to believe their conversations featured on the DVD were private.
In July of 2000, a controversial video in Dre’s set was banned during stops in Detroit and Auburn Hills under local obscenity laws.
That same month, Dr. Dre filed a $25 million dollar lawsuit against the city of Detroit, claiming the police violated his First Amendment rights by banning the video.
Greg Bowens, a spokesman for the Mayor, Police spokeswoman Paula Bridges and former Police Commander Gary Brown claimed that hidden cameras illegally taped their conversation during a stop at The Joe Louis Arena in July of 2000.
The trio had a conversation with producers, asking them to refrain from showing a video that contained nudity and a gunfight to audience members.
They filed the $3 billion dollar lawsuit after the Up In Smoke DVD hit stores in December of 2000.
Bowen, Bridges and Brown and two other Detroit residence settled with other litigants in the case in 2004, but pursued their lawsuit against Dr. Dre.
"Secretly videotape a private conversation with gangster rapper Dr. Dre…put it in a gangster rap music video without his permission and see how quickly he sues you," the trio’s attorney Glen Douglas Oliver said after the 2004 settlement. "Just because people aren't rich, powerful and internationally famous, doesn't mean they should be exploited by those that are."
Oliver vowed to appeal Judge Murphy’s most recent verdict.
In 2001, Dr. Dre won a First Amendment lawsuit related to the "Up In Smoke" performances.
The City of Detroit was forced to reimburse $25,000 in legal fees and police officers had to undergo First Amendment education.
Additionally, the Auburn Hills council issued an apology to Dre stating: "To the extent that any threats were made by police to censor the performance, such threats should have never been made, as they would violate the performers' First Amendment rights of free expression."
"The Up In Smoke" tour was one of the highest-grossing tours in Hip-Hop history.
The concert featured performances by Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Warren G. and numerous others.