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A California appeals court says rapper Rick Ross can keep his stage name. 

Former drug kingpin "Freeway" Ricky Ross had filed a lawsuit against the rapper, whose real name is William Roberts II, claiming he was using his name and persona for his own profit. 

According to the "Hollywood Reporter," last week, appeals court Judge Roger Boren upheld a lower court's dismissal of the case on grounds that Roberts' "Rick Ross" rap moniker and persona are protected expressions of speech under the first amendment. 

Boren writes that Roberts wasn't merely an impostor using Ross' name.  Instead he "made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits -- some of which related to plaintiff."  

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