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Ex-Recording Artist vs. Usher and Alicia
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2011
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Arista Records
Business Entity of Artist(s)
Dre & Vidal
Dupri, Jermaine
EMI April Music
EMI Music
Film Studio(s)
Hitco Music
Keys, Alicia
La Face Records
Music Executive(s)
Music Manager(s)
Music Publisher(s)
Record Label(s)
Songwriter(s)
Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Sony Music
Sony/ATV Music
Toby, Ryan
Universal Music
Usher
Zomba Records
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description The facts of this immense lawsuit--which involves numerous defendants--are somewhat unique. Oftentimes, unknown artists sue huge companies and successful artists alleging copyright infringement, usually with little-to-no evidence that the defendants ever knew of the plaintiff or plaintiff's songs. In this case, Plaintiff was a songwriter and recording artist who signed briefly with Alicia Key's record label, a subsidiary of J Records, and began recording songs to be released. After some of the songs were finished, the record label offered to buy some of her songs for use with other artists on the label, such as Usher. Plaintiff, recognizing that the agreements would divest her of all royalty and ownership rights--she'd be a "ghost writer"--refused the deal. According to Plaintiff, Defendants nevertheless used her songs on Usher's album, "Confessions," as well as with other artists on the label's roster. Unfortunately for Plaintiff, her song, "Caught Up," which was one that Defendants wanted to use, was nothing like the Usher song of the same name. The court compared both lyrics and melody between the two songs and found that, despite Plaintiff's allegations and undeniable claims of access, the Usher song was not copied from Plaintiff's. Perhaps the phrase "caught up" was copied, but that in-and-of-itself was insufficient to comprise copyright infringement. With the sole federal claim dismissed, the court declined jurisdiction over the remaining state claims, and Plaintiff's action was disposed of entirely. - LSW

Legal Issues
Contracts Breach Payment & Performance
Copyrights Infringement Copying & Distribution/Dissemination
General Equitable Remedies Quantum Meruit
Torts Economic Torts Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement


Opinions Pyatt v. Raymond
2011 WL 2078531
S.D. New York , May 19, 2011 ( No. 10 Civ. 8764(CM) )


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Related Searches Parties
Arista Records ( Defendant )
Business Entity of Artist(s) ( Defendant )
Dre & Vidal ( Defendant )
Dupri, Jermaine ( Defendant )
EMI April Music ( Defendant )
EMI Music ( Defendant )
Film Studio(s) ( Defendant )
Hitco Music ( Defendant )
Keys, Alicia ( Defendant )
La Face Records ( Defendant )
Music Executive(s) ( Defendant )
Music Manager(s) ( Defendant )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Record Label(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Songwriter(s) ( Defendant )
Sony BMG Music Entertainment ( Defendant )
Sony Music ( Defendant )
Sony/ATV Music ( Defendant )
Toby, Ryan ( Defendant )
Universal Music ( Defendant )
Usher ( Defendant )
Zomba Records ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Contracts / Breach / Payment & Performance
Copyrights / Infringement / Copying & Distribution/Dissemination
General / Equitable Remedies / Quantum Meruit
Torts / Economic Torts / Fraud, Misrepresentation & Inducement

Courts
S.D. New York (highest court)


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