Ultimate Rap League is suing former talent scout URL Norbes for proxy copyright infringement.
According to court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Ultimate Rap League accuses Dagoberto Velez aka Norbes of letting members of his private Facebook group bootleg rap battles. the the society claims that Norbes “builds its brand awareness” through stolen streams, which allows it to make money from pirated content.
“Norbes benefits directly from counterfeiting activity as pirated videos drive traffic, revenue and attention to Norbes, its website and its podcast (which just completed its 256th episode), allowing it to remain relevant in the rap battle world despite being ousted from URL,” the lawsuit alleges.
Ultimate Rap League severed ties with Norbes in 2020. The company’s lawsuit cites its “unprofessional conduct,” including a physical altercation with a performer at an event.
Since the split, the company says Norbes has become vindictive. After his own failed trial, he reportedly began engaging in underhanded tactics to harm the fight rap league.
“Norbes embarked on a series of extrajudicial actions designed to exact revenge against URL, including assisting a URL competitor in tortiously interfering with URL’s talent deals,” the lawsuit says. “More recently, Norbes chose to harm URL by allowing the more than 8,300 members of its private Facebook group – titled “Norbes it all” (hereafter, “Norbes It All Facebook Group”) – to: (a) market and sell pirated versions of URL ‘rap battle’ videos, as well as (b) watch URL rap battles, without paying URL’s monthly subscription fee.
URL is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to end Norbes’ alleged copyright infringement. He is looking for his profits and damages, which would be determined in a trial.
As an alternative, the company suggested maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyrighted work that was infringed. He also wants Norbes to cover his court costs and attorney fees.