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Sweet Brown Sues Apple

Sweet Brown sues Apple

Internet sensation “Sweet Brown” is suing Apple Inc., saying the company did not have permission to cash in on a musical mashup of her famous television interview.

Kimberly Wilkins, an Oklahoma woman who identified herself as “Sweet Brown” in an interview, said she was defrauded by Apple when the company used her voice and likeness to sell songs on iTunes.

Wilkins was interviewed by Oklahoma City’s KFOR during a report on an apartment fire near NW 23 and Villa. Over the course of the interview, Wilkins said a number of phrases — including “Ain’t nobody got time for that” — that have since gone viral. The meme has also been remixed a number of times including for Thanksgiving and during “Snowstorm Nemo.”

Sweet Brown’s case is currently pending in federal court. In the lawsuit, she claims that representatives from the Bob Rivers Show called her the day after the April 8, 2012 interview and asked “general questions relating to the apartment fire.”

According to the lawsuit, the same day the show called about the apartment fire, the station produced a song called, “I Got Bronchitis,” which sampled a number of the phrases Wilkins said the KFOR interview.

One day later, the song was available on iTunes, the lawsuit said.

“At no time did Sweet Brown consent or agree to have her name, likeness, voice, statements, photograph used in connection with any products, songs, video productions, merchandise, goods, advertisements or solicitations for merchandise, goods or service,” the lawsuit states.

Initially, Wilkins and a co-plaintiff named Sparkell Adams, were demanding $15 million from Apple, the radio station employees, and the San Antonio-based company that owns the radio station, including $7.5 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit was amended in December and does not specify how much money the two plaintiffs are seeking. Adams is described as Wilkins’ business manager, but she declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Wilkins and Adams currently do not have attorneys, court records show. The two attorneys who were handling the case were granted permission to withdraw from the proceedings on March 1.

Since the KFOR interview, Wilkins has gone on to appear in commercials, is being booked for church events and private parties, and is even reportedly being cast in Tyler Perry’s upcoming film Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. If the rumors turn out to be true, be prepared to see Sweet Brown make her big screen debut on December 13.

Do you think Kimberly Wilkins, a.k.a. Sweet Brown, has a legitimate case against Apple?

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26 Responses to “Sweet Brown Sues Apple”

  1. Anonymous

    the money amount is silly. But the company took a serious situation and made fun of this woman, they should be called on that.

  2. Joshua Simmet

    She actually makes sense; lol I'm a little jelly; she won this lotto :) this shows us the power of just being ourselves; even when others make fun; it can get you places when you least expect it.

  3. Brian Kemp

    Meh, it's obvious she just wants a payout. She's suing Apple; that's not the right entity to sue here, IMO. She *should* be suing just the entities who used her likeness or samples without the compulsory license…but then again no one here has time for properly chosen defendants. Apple has quite a bit of cash and could easily starve her out.

  4. Rob Thorne

    Being that she is experiencing financial gain from this, she isn't in a great position to complain or sue. Not to mention that in the initial interview she probably signed or was made aware of the stations right to use her likeness and interview in any form they wanted. Since attorneys are withdrawing from the case, this should point out that it's probably not very solid. If she pushes it, she can bet her other new formed money paths will dry up quickly also.

  5. Eye Vee

    Since their attorneys were allowed to withdraw from the case, and they currently don't have attorneys, it's likely not a good case.

  6. Janie Doucet Eshleman

    Since the interview was broadcast on television, isn't the info therein in the public domain? If there was a copyright on the segment before it was aired, that might be different.

  7. Donnie Dixon

    IS Apple and the Radio station going to counter sue, because after all if it was not for them she never would have recieved all the job offers. Go ahead and bite the hand that made you what you are.

  8. Holly Yost

    I think she should at least receive royalties based on the $ Apple iTunes is making off of her….you know if this were a famous celebrity, they would be suing for use of their song lyrics or musical melodies.

  9. Nicholas Mersch

    No because Apple was is not the company that holds the rights to the song. That's like sueing youtube for someone putting a picture of you in a video. In the event she does win this case their is no way its worth 15 million at most she should only get part of the profit from the song.

  10. Virginia Abrigo

    Lordy Jesus ! Help mrs. Sweets out… Apparently she got time for That law suit !!!

  11. Dan Cline

    Well, she's brown at least. Don't see anything sweet there though.

  12. Damon Arial

    What makes you think she gets food stamps? Let me guess, because she's a black woman and it's the first thing that popped into your racist thinking?

  13. Heather Sloan

    I think she does deserve money how you gon use her face and voice and air it all over the country Without asking her dum asses the network people should be smarter then that people do anything to get money and they just left the door open for one

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