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October 4, 2006

My Sharona Creators Sue Apple, Yahoo for Infringment Over Run-DMC Sampling

The wacky world of music sampling has spawned any number of lawsuits and law review articles and led to a licensing regime where artists and record companies buy off other companies to use their work.  The guys who wrote My Sharona have sued not only Run-DMC who they claim incorporated samples of the song into the rapper's "It's Tricky," but also Yahoo, Apple, Amazon, and others for distributing it online.  Brick and mortar stores were left out.  The trick here is online infringement because these distributors make a copy of the song every time they sell it.  Stores such as Best Buy and the bankruptcy challenged Tower Records only sell copies.

Douglas Fieger and Berton Averre of the Knack claim they never heard the Run-DMC tune until August, 2005.  My Sharona was published in 1978 while there is a three year statute of limitations on copyright actions.  Expect more lawsuits of this nature if this one ever gets past the motion to dismiss stage.

The case was filed in federal court in the Central District of California, docket number CV 06-5887.

Details are in eWeek.

October 4, 2006 | Permalink


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