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Waller Lawyers Defeat Copyright Infringement Claim against Country Music Stars


Waller recently defended country music superstar performers, songwriters, and publishers regarding the hit song “Remind Me.” The Plaintiff brought suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging that the musical composition infringed her song of the same name.  In a lengthy and detailed opinion, the U.S. District Court held that the Defendants’ composition was not substantially similar to the Plaintiff’s Work, and entered summary judgment in the Defendants’ favor.  The Plaintiff did not appeal. 

In defending against the allegations of infringement, Waller’s team succeeded in obtaining a bifurcation of discovery, requiring the parties to conduct discovery on liability issues before proceeding with expensive and time-consuming damages discovery.  Waller lawyers at the summary judgment phase were able to highlight distinctions in the themes, structure, melody, harmony, and lyrics between the two songs.  The Plaintiff’s song was one recounting regret over a spouse absent on an important day, while the  Defendants’ song was a “ballad of sexual tension.”  The court not only recognized the significant differences between the underlying premise of the two songs, it also adopted the rationale of the expert analysis offered by the Defendant’s musicologist and rejected the contentions of the Plaintiff’s expert.   

Copyright claims are an increasing threat to the creative process of songwriting.  Waller is proud to have played a role in obtaining of this lawsuit, which received national press. 

To read the court’s ruling, click here:

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