Mon Nov 30, 2009 @ 10:08AM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Tyler Perry is being accused of ripping off a Jesus-themed gospel song to create a monologue in the film "Madea Goes to Jail," released by Lionsgate earlier this year.
The estate of Bertha V. James, author of the song "When I Think of the Goodness of Jesus," has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Perry and Lionsgate for copyright infringement.
According to the complaint
, Perry "incorporated the entire chorus from the song in a monologue delivered by the main character 'Madea' referencing her deliverance from a jail sentence and leniency for repetitive criminal conduct, in a staged court proceeding presided over by 'Judge Mabeline.'"
We'll point out that the song in question isn't very long
and the lyrics are rather generic. Here's a copy of the scene
posted on YouTube. "When I think of the goodness of Jesus," goes the refrain. "And all he's done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah, I thank God for saving me."
Last year around this time, Perry beat back a copyright claim
in Texas federal court over the Madea character. Now Perry will likely argue her words are protected by fair use.