Music: Beyonce

Beyonce Wins Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Houston District Court Dismisses Unsubstantiated Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Beyonce

On September 21, 2006 a United States District Court in Houston dismissed a copyright infringement case brought against Beyonce and the co-authors of the Grammy (R) Award-winning, number one hit song "Baby Boy." Judge Nancy Atlas ruled that Beyonce and the other defendants named in case did not infringe the copyright in the plaintiff's song.

In response to the court's decision, Beyonce said, "It's unfortunate that lawsuits such as this one occur, but I am grateful and relieved to have this behind me and I am eager to move on."

"Baby Boy" was written and produced by Beyonce, Sean Paul, Scott Storch, Robert Waller and Jay-Z.

A Minneapolis singer-songwriter named Jennifer Armour asserted in a lawsuit filed in July 2005 that her former manager, Marc McKinney p/k/a Theo Forrest, submitted demo recordings of her song "Got a Little Bit of Love for You" to Mathew Knowles (President, Music World Entertainment), representatives of Beyonce's record label Columbia Records, a division of SONY BMG Music Entertainment, and Sean Paul's label Atlantic Recording Corporation in early March 2003. She soon discovered in the litigation, however, that the writing and recording of "Baby Boy" was substantially complete by February 10, 2003, approximately one month before Armour alleged that her demo was submitted.

The basis of the court's decision, however, was not the fact that "Baby Boy" was in existence before the date on which the plaintiff's demos were allegedly submitted to various people and entities affiliated with the "Baby Boy" songwriters. Beyonce's attorney filed a motion for summary judgment in which he asked the court to make a side-by-side comparison of the plaintiff's song and "Baby Boy." One of the key questions in a copyright infringement case is whether two songs are "substantially similar" to one another. The court made the requested side-by-side comparison and determined that no reasonable person could conclude that "Baby Boy" is "substantially similar" to the plaintiff's song. In fact, the court wrote that the two songs are "substantially dissimilar" from one another.

Defendants named in the lawsuit included Beyonce, Jay-Z, Scott Storch, Robert Waller, SONY BMG Music Entertainment, Hitco Music Publishing, TVT Music, and Notting Dale Songs, all of whom were represented by Henry ("Hank") J. Fasthoff, IV of Stumpf Craddock Massey Farrimond; and Sean Paul, Atlantic Recording Corporation, EMI Music Publishing, EMI April Music, VP Music Group, and Dutty Rock Music who were represented by Roland Garcia and Rachel Sims of Greenberg Traurig.

Source: Music World Entertainment
HOUSTON, Oct. 2, 2006 /PRNewswire/ --

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Beyonce's "B'day" CD

History may prove Beyoncé's B'Day to be a rare double-whammy of an achievement. Not only is it destined to hold up as one of the thumpingest, most polished-sounding discs of 2006, it's also bound to loose a new phrase into the popular lexicon: a "freekum dress" (n.), as described on a same-named track halfway through this excellent CD, is a "right-fittin'" garment owned by every woman; "when they act wrong, that's when you put it on." Linguistic hijinks aside, here is Beyoncé as the public rarely sees her: fully liberated and artistically fearless. "Ring the Alarm," a big-banging, fire-alarm-clanging wake-up call to a cheating man, finds her seething; "Kitty Kat," a feline-like size-up of a stale relationship helped along by the still innovative Neptunes, shows her spurned; the womanly, fire-in-the-belly come-on "Suga Mama" gets her way, way worked up; and the crackling, vocally volcanic "Resentment" steeps her in Aretha-caliber soul. For all the disc's solo trailblazing, though, where it really soars is on one of two duets with Jay-Z: While "Up Grade U" chugs along entertainingly enough about the good life ("I'm talkin' spa bags and fly pads and rooms at the Bloomberg"), opener "Deja Vu" blasts out a bomp-bomp beat nobody with a head to nod could resist. Cake, candles, and Cristal or no, B'Days rarely get this good. --Tammy La Gorce.


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