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Victory to Virgin: "Hawthorne's Ours!"
Highest Court N.D. Illinois
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Victory Records
Defendants Virgin Records
Other Hawthorne Heights
Short Description Hawthorne Height's public "beef" with Victory records has been, as the court acknowledged, well-documented. When Victory Records sought to ensure that Hawthorne's 2006 album, "If Only You Were Lonely," beat out Ne-Yo's concurrently-released album on the Billboard 200, the label published a "manifesto" in Hawthorne's name, framing the two releases as a battle between rock and rap, which many people construed as racist. Furthermore, they encouraged Victory "street team" members to hide the Ne-Yo album to prevent it from being purchased. A very public lawsuit erupted in which, interestingly, Hawthorne was released from their Victory contract because the label's owner, Tony Victory (nee Brummel) forgot to put an exclusivity provision in the agreement (see "Hawthorne Heights Contract Exclusive?"). This lawsuit followed several years later, brought by Victory against Virgin Records, the label with whom the band subsequently signed, though they are no longer on the roster. Victory argued that the band's dismal sales on their third album resulted from Virgin's "interference." In this opinion, the court granted Virgin's motion in limine to exclude Victory's expert witness from testifying about the damages Victory incurred from Virgin's interference. The court held that 1) the expert incorrectly relied on Victory's internal figures, as opposed to objective outside sources, 2) Victory's expert employed the "yardstick" method for determining lost sales, but only used one band, Paramore, as a comparison, and 3) the expert failed to consider convincing alternative reasons for the band's low sales, such as negativity surrounding the "manifesto" and anti-rap campaign that was very negatively perceived by the purchasing public. Expert not allowed. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Evidence Admissibility
Torts Economic Torts Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy

Opinions Victory Records, Inc. v. Virgin Records America, Inc.
2011 WL 382743
N.D. Illinois , February 03, 2011 ( No. 08 C 3977 )

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Related Searches Parties
Hawthorne Heights ( Other )
Victory Records ( Plaintiff )
Virgin Records ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Evidence / Admissibility
Torts / Economic Torts / Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy

N.D. Illinois (highest court)

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