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Tag: Lawsuits (1-10 of 19)

Lady Gaga's 'Judas' not a rip-off, judge rules

In 2011, Chicago-based singer-songwriter Rebecca Francescatti sued Lady Gaga, alleging that Gaga’s hit “Judas” had ripped off her 1999 song “Juda.” Three years later, Judge Marvin E. Aspen found time to listen to the two songs and has tossed out the case.

“We conclude as a matter of law that the two songs are not substantially similar,” Aspen wrote in his ruling. “No reasonable trier of fact could find that Defendants copied protected expression in Francescatti’s song. The songs do not ‘share enough unique features to give rise to a breach of the duty not to copy another’s work.'”

The judge noted that the two songs have “four similar 16th notes” and similar names, but wrote that those similarities were not substantial enough to capture “the total concept and feel of the Francescatti song.” (Here’s a video comparing a part of “Juda” with “Judas.”)

Song copyright cases are usually settled out of court, as in the case of Avril Lavigne’s 2007 “Girlfriend.” Lavigne was sued for ripping off the 1979 song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” but the case was settled in 2008 for an undisclosed amount. When these types of cases do make it to court, judges usually side with the party accused of plagiarism, according to Rolling Stone.

 

Led Zeppelin sued for plagiarizing 'Stairway to Heaven' from former tour mates

Fans may be left dazed and confused over a new lawsuit about an old ongoing battle between Led Zeppelin and their former tourmates Spirit.

According to People, the suit claims that Led Zeppelin plagiarized arguably their best work “Stairway to Heaven” from an instrumental section of Spirit’s song “Taurus”. Similarities between the two songs have been noted for decades, with videos created on YouTube specifically to call out the issue. Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page claims he wrote “Stairway to Heaven” in 1970, two years after the band toured with Spirit, the same year they had released “Taurus.” READ FULL STORY

Frank Ocean sued by Chipotle, releases song with Diplo and former Clash members [UPDATED]

Well, this might not be the Channel Orange followup we’ve been waiting for. On Friday, burrito emporium Chipotle sued Frank Ocean for backing out on a deal to deliver a song for an advertising campaign. The suit alleges that Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 to record a new version of “Pure Imagination,” the song made famous in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for an ad benefiting the restaurant chain’s sustainable farming program. (Several artists, including Willie Nelson, have contributed to the program in the past.) The track was due back in August, but on the day that Ocean was supposed to deliver the tune, he told Chipotle he would not be delivering. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' lawsuit claims Sony owes Kelly, Carrie, others royalties

As a wise old prophet once said, music makes the people come together. But an even older, even wiser prophet warns us that money is the root of all evil.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that American Idol‘s house record label 19 Recordings is suing Sony Music for allegedly cheating its artists — including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, and plenty of others you barely remember — out of royalties worth millions of dollars.

“We did not want to have to file this lawsuit, but Sony left us no choice, so this became necessary to protect our artists. Our complaint lays out the claims in great detail,” says Jason Morey, 19 Entertainment’s Worldwide Head of Music, in a statement. “Everything we have to say about the case is set forth in it.”

The suit focuses mainly on issues of accounting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint accuses Sony of treating master recordings streamed on services such as Spotify as “sales” or “distributions” rather than “broadcasts” or “transmissions,” allowing the company to pay significantly less than it should under the terms of its recording agreements. It also alleges that Sony has improperly deducted money spent on TV advertising and music videos and that it has not paid proper royalties on compilation albums — attempting “to state compilation albums are not albums” — among other things. It seeks at least $10 million in damages.

When reached by EW, Sony declined to comment on the suit.

Prince drops $22 million lawsuit against fans online

Prince is officially dropping a $22 million lawsuit against members of a Facebook group and a Blogspot account, mere days after he announced he would be going after the fans for posting links to copyrighted material of his live performances. The singer announced late Tuesday night that he would no longer be pressing charges against the fans who have since removed the links in question.

READ FULL STORY

Prince slaps fans, Facebook users with $22 million lawsuit for posting bootleg videos

UPDATE (Jan. 29, 2014): Prince drops lawsuit after online videos are removed

ORIGINAL POST: Prince, that well-documented hater of the internet, is at it again.

The legendary Minnesota luddite’s latest volley against the ones-and-zeroes comes in the form of a lawsuit filed against a group of online fans who’ve posted unauthorized Prince concert videos from the ’80s and beyond on Facebook and other places online.

READ FULL STORY

Judge nixes 50 Cent's bid to toss video lawsuit

50 Cent has lost a bid to end a Florida woman’s lawsuit over a sex video posted online with him edited into it as a wig-wearing narrator.

A New York judge rebuffed the rapper’s request to dismiss Lastonia Leviston’s claim in a ruling made public Thursday. Lawyers for both sides haven’t returned calls seeking comment. READ FULL STORY

Kanye West sued for 'Bound 2' sample

Bound-2.jpg

The singer whose 1971 song is sampled on Kanye West’s track “Bound 2″ is suing the rapper for using it without permission. Ricky Spicer, 56, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, demanding that West either pay him for the misappropriated use of the sample or cease and desist.

Spicer was part of the Cleveland-based teen R&B-soul group Ponderossa Twins Plus One. (Spicer was the Plus One, alongside the Gardner and Pelham twins.) They never became as big as the Jackson 5, and despite a few minor hits, they were finished by 1975. But their debut 1971 album, 2+2+1 = Ponderossa Twins Plus One, featured the song “Bound,” which includes 12-year-old Spicer’s “fallin’ in love” refrain.

“Mr. Spicer’s voice is sampled exactly as he recorded it,” claims the suit, which also names West’s record labels Roc-A-Fella Records, Universal Music Group, Island Def-Jam Music and Rhino Entertainment as defendants.

There’s no denying that “Bound” is part of Kanye’s hit song, but he clearly believes he acquired the right to the tune properly, via All Platinum Records. (Why else would he title his song “Bound 2″?) But there is some debate about the song’s proper ownership, according to a recent story in the Cleveland Challenger. In his lawsuit, Spicer claims that he has a copyright “in the sound recording of his voice in the song.”

West’s reps did you immediately respond to EW’s request for comment. Click below to hear both songs.
READ FULL STORY

Beastie Boys sue GoldieBlox for copyright infringement over 'Girls' video

And the Beastie Boys vs. GoldieBlox saga continues.

After GoldieBlox, a toy company, created a video about female empowerment set to a lyrically altered version of Beastie Boy’s “Girls,” the company took a preventative action in suing the band in November. GoldieBlox claimed that including the song in their video fell under “fair use.”

The Beastie Boys then responded in an open letter, saying: “As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.”

GoldieBlox quickly removed the video and wrote an open letter of its own, claiming, in part: “Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.”

However, it seems that didn’t satisfy the Beastie Boys as they have now filed a lawsuit of their own. The lawsuit claims copyright infringement and states, “GoldieBlox has engaged in the systematic infringement of intellectual property from numerous popular music groups, including Beastie Boys.” Among that list of music groups, the lawsuit makes mention of Queen, Daft Punk, Kaskade, Avicii, and more.

Read the lawsuit here.

Marvin Gaye's children sue over Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'

Two of Marvin Gaye’s children have countersued Robin Thicke and his collaborators on the hit “Blurred Lines” for copyright infringement.

The suit filed Wednesday in a Los Angeles federal court accuses Thicke, producer Pharrell, and rapper T.I. of copying Gaye’s hit “Got to Give It Up.”

Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye also accused music company EMI of failing to pursue a copyright infringement claim and trying to intimidate Gaye’s children from filing a lawsuit.

EMI is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, which didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Thicke asked a federal judge
in August to rule that his song didn’t copy “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke’s attorney Howard King says the Gayes’ decision to sue EMI shows the family doesn’t have the authority to pursue claims against his client.

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