50 Cent sues over Internet ad
EmptyNEW YORK -- Rapper 50 Cent on Friday sued Internet advertising company Traffix Inc. for using his image without permission in the graphic "Shoot the Rapper" ad, which he says promotes violence and threatens his safety.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Court seeks a minimum of $1 million in damages.
The Internet ad features a cartoon representation of 50 Cent and the message "shoot the Rapper and you will WIN $5,000 or 5 RINGTONES GUARANTEED," the lawsuit says.
The ad invites the user to use his or her computer mouse to aim and fire at the rapper, a well-known victim of gun violence. If the user fires successfully, the screen becomes bathed in red and the user is redirected to the Traffix website, the lawsuit says.
The "vile, tasteless and despicable" use of 50 Cent's image was "completely unauthorized" and "quite literally calls for violence against" him, the lawsuit says.
Ezio Scaldaferri, a lawyer representing Traffix, said he had not seen the lawsuit and declined comment.
The bullet-scarred, tattooed rapper, whose given name is Curtis Jackson, was shot nine times in 2000 in a drive-by near his grandmother's house, where he was raised.
In 2005, he starred in a movie based on his life, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."