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Hanswirth Quoted in Billboard on Potential Defamation Claims

May 10, 2024

Intellectual Property partner and TMT industry group co-head Dori Hanswirth was quoted in the recent Billboard article, “Can Drake & Kendrick Sue Each Other For Defamation Over Ugly Diss Track Accusations?” The article discusses the recent headline grabbing dispute between rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar that resulted in both artists releasing songs known as “diss tracks” that include incendiary and unproven accusations about the other artist. The release of these songs has led to the question of whether someone could sue for libel or defamation over a “diss track” and whether a lawsuit like that could be successful in court.

Hanswirth told Billboard that legal defamation can be difficult to prove in court because the accuser must prove a statement made about them was factually false. The public has to believe the person accused of defamation was being serious “and not just hurling insults in a diss fight,” she said. “If the statements are not taken literally, then they are rhetorical hyperbole and not considered to be defamatory. The context of this song-by-song grudge match tends to support the idea that this is rhetorical, and a creative way to beef with a rival.”

Read the full article.