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Salsa Rap Goes to Court
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Music Producer(s)
Universal Music Group
Other Nieves, Tito
White, Barry
Short Description Plaintiff was an unknown songwriter who penned rap lyrics for a Tito Nieves version of Barry White's song, "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More Baby." Tito Nieves is a well-known salsa singer who apparently experimented with including rap influences in his music during the early 1990s, when Plaintiff wrote the lyrics at issue in this suit. When Plaintiff provided the lyrics to Nieves's producer, a Defendant in this suit, the producer asked Plaintiff to sign certain documents pertaining to ownership and compensation, but Plaintiff refused. In the 20-ish years since Plaintiff wrote the lyrics, the song was released on at least two different albums, copyrighted to Defendant Universal Music. Plaintiff sued for copyright infringement, which the court interpreted as a claim for co-ownership of the song. Either way, said the court, this case was barred by the statute of limitations. Even taking the last possible date of accrual, in 2004, when Plaintiff's counsel sent a letter to Defendant about his claims, the lawsuit was brought over 5 years later, outside the Copyright Act's three year limitation. - LSW

Legal Issues
Copyrights Infringement Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
  Ownership Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General Affirmative Defenses Statutes of Limitation


Opinions Brand v. RMM
2011 WL 1496344
S.D. New York , April 18, 2011 ( No. 10 Civ. 0287(AJP) )


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Related Searches Parties
Music Producer(s) ( Defendant )
Nieves, Tito ( Other )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Universal Music Group ( Defendant )
White, Barry ( Other )

Legal Issues
Copyrights / Infringement / Reproduction & Distribution/Dissemination
Copyrights / Ownership / Joint Authorship, Works-for-Hire & Derivative Creations
General / Affirmative Defenses / Statutes of Limitation

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


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