June 4, 2022
There are some intellectual property law events that are so culturally important that they cannot wait for a weekday update. They deserve a special weekend update. This is one of them.
As reported just about everywhere (here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), Mariah Carey has been sued for copyright infringement related to her 1994-released Christmas anthem, "All I Want for Christmas is You". The infectious, upbeat love song has been played and sung by lovestruck romantics every Christmas season for over a quarter century and has been popularized in television shows and films, including famously in "Love Actually". The song has reportedly been streamed more than one billion times on Spotify alone.
Who, then, is the "Scrooge" seeking to sour our collective cultural (and romantic) joy? A copy of the complaint, which can be accessed here, reveals that the plaintiff is Andy Stone a.k.a. "Vince Vance", who is a member of "Vince Vance & The Valiants", a country, pop, rock and roll and novelty musical group from New Orleans. The Valiants released their own song called "All I Want for Christmas is You" in 1989 and then again in 1993. The song reportedly had some modest success on the country singles charts.
The complaint alleges that, after The Valiants' version of the song received extensive airplay during the Christmas season in 1993, Mariah Carey and her co-writer copied it in the course of developing their own version of the song, which was released on October 28, 1994. The songs have different lyrics and melodies.
The complaint was brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Needless to say, the Goodmans IP Team (or at least the undersigned) will be monitoring developments very closely and hoping that this dispute will be resolved by the Christmas season of 2022.
Have a great weekend.
Author: Jordan Scopa, Goodmans IP Editor-In-Chief