Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kid Rock Wins New Orleans Copyright Infringement Case

This week, Atlantic Recording artist Kid Rock won a dismissal of a copyright infringement action brought against him and several codefendants by a New Orleans man. The lawsuit, filed by local musician Troy Landry in 2004, contained allegations that Kid Rock and co-writers Uncle Kracker, John Travis and Kenny Olson copied portions of two songs written by the Plaintiff when the Defendants wrote the hit recording Somebody's Gotta Feel This.

In a sweeping vindication for Kid Rock, Louisiana's United States District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon issued a 14-page Opinion dismissing Landry's lawsuit in its entirety.

Among the Court's findings were the following:

-- Landry presented no evidence to contradict the Defendants' affidavits
that they had not heard Landry's music and that they independently
created the song in 1997.

-- Landry failed to meet the "access" requirement of a copyright case.

-- One of the Plaintiff's expert witnesses, Tulane University Associate
Professor of Music John Joyce, conceded that the two songs as a whole
were different. He also said the hook of Landry's song was copied
based on a "hunch."

-- Both of Kid Rock's expert witnesses, musicologists Gerald Eskelin and
Anthony Ricigliano, opined that the songs in question were distinctly

-- The Court concluded that the works are not so similar as to preclude
independent creation.
Kid Rock's trial attorney, William Horton of Troy, Michigan, expressed his enthusiasm with the Court's decision: "There was no copying here. Kid Rock is a one-of-a-kind original."

Kid Rock's personal attorney, Michael Novak, says: "Judge Lemmon did the right thing in dismissing this case. It was utterly meritless. Unfortunately the way our justice system works, anybody can sue anyone for any reason, and successful artists tend to attract these groundless claims. But we are elated the system worked here. Justice is served."

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