An unusual lawsuit against Apple and others has been kicked out of court.

Apple, Viacom and US channel BET had been taken to task under law by Rap-A-Lot Records CEO James ‘J Prince’ Smith and his associate Thomas Randle.

The rappers launched the action in response to being labeled as 'murderers' during an episode of BET's American Gangster series, which is distributed and sold on iTunes in the US. BET is a Viacom subsidiary.

The rap-duo claimed an image of them with gang founder Larry Hoover was used without permission within an episode of the series which focused on Hoover. They sought reparations and damages.

The judge in the case, Lynn Hughes ruled Friday that Prince and Randle were not defamed by BET  "because the photo showed their social choices and proved the fact that they visited Hoover in prison."

BET has since edited the Hoover episode by obscuring Prince and Randle's faces.