March 28, 2014 | News

Firm achieves early victory for A-list performer in copyright lawsuit involving popular song

Plaintiffs alleged in their federal court action in the Eastern District of Virginia that three versions of the 2010 song Somebody to Love, recorded by superstar artists, infringed a similarly titled song plaintiffs recorded two years earlier.

Jonathan D. Davis, P.C., on behalf of its client, secured dismissal of plaintiffs' request for punitive damages and, together with counsel for the other defendants, obtained a dismissal of plaintiffs' copyright infringement claims. The District Court excluded plaintiffs' improperly submitted evidence and found that the two songs at issue shared no substantial similarities.

The District Court's motion to dismiss decision is available here.

UPDATE: On June 18, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated the District Court's judgment in favor of the defendants and remanded the case for further proceedings. The panel agreed that the District Court properly ruled on numerous points of law plaintiff had challenged on appeal, but disagreed with the lower court's conclusion that a reasonable juror could not find the two songs "intrinsically" similar. Listening to the songs, which is what the law required them to do, the panel reached the opposite conclusion. The case will be returned to the District Court for discovery and then a final determination by either dispositive motion or trial by jury. We believe that a jury, if ever asked to decide this case, will find no substantial similarity between the songs.