T.I. And Tiny Lose $100M Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Toy Company

T.I. And Tiny Lose $100M Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Toy Company

After a long trial over the likeness of L.O.L Surprise! dolls to the now-defunct group OMG Girlz, rapper CliffordT.I.” Harris and singer TamekaTiny” Harris have lost their $100 million copyright infringement lawsuit against MGA Entertainment.

The former girl group—which consisted of Tiny’s daughter Zonnique Pullins, Bahja Rodriguez and Breaunna Womack—was known for its colorful hairstyles, eclectic fashion and distinct personalities. The Harris family felt these traits were directly copied by the popular doll company.

The group was formed in 2009; the dolls went to market a decade later from MGA. The couple originally served the company with a cease and desist letter in 2020; in response, MGA filed its own lawsuit.

In January, T.I. and Tiny’s lawyers accused the company of “racist cultural appropriation” as the style the group made their own was a direct reflection of the popular dress in the Black community at the time. The move resulted in a mistrial; however, the proceedings resumed this month, according to The Source.

A jury decided that the doll company had done no harm in creating the doll. The CEO of MGA, Isaac Larian, vehemently agreed, calling the move by the Harris family “a shakedown.”

“I’m not happy because I wasted a lot of time, energy—my employees’ time, energy—to deal with an extortion,” Larian said. “They knew from the beginning they don’t have a case, and they brought it anyways. And they picked on the wrong guy.”

For MGA, it was always a matter of actual ownership. An attorney for the company, Jennifer Keller, argued that the trademark for the name of the group had expired when the group formally disbanded in 2018.

“They actually abandoned it when they changed their name,” Keller said. Throughout the case, she argued that the group had not amassed enough fame or a following to have been copied, according to Marin Independent Journal. “These ladies were trend followers, not trendsetters,” the attorney said. “They never achieved liftoff.”

Thanks to Tiny, OMG Girlz were signed to Interscope Records. Their hit “Gucci This (Gucci That)” spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 R&B/Hip Hop charts in 2012.