Court Renews Copyright Case Against Timberlake
If you know Milli Vanilli, Justin Timberlake is no Milli Vanilli.
The Milli duo lost their Grammy because they didn't actually sing their award-winning song. They went down as the best lip syncers, instead.
Timberlake, at least, sings his songs. However, a federal appeals court says he might owe another band for sampling their song.
Sly Slick & Wicked, a soul-funk group, recorded "Sho Nuff" in 1973. In 2016, they sued Timberlake for alleging he used it for his "Suit & Tie" recording.
John "Sly" Wilson and Charles "Slick" Still had filed the original copyright in 1973, and renewed their claims with Mark "Wicked" Sexton in 2015. A federal judge dismissed their claims based on the statute of limitations.
But the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said the time-bar didn't apply to claims based on the renewed copyright.
Lita Rosario, who represents the plaintiffs, told Courthouse News that they have a "very strong, winnable case." She said it will also help other artists who have copyrights for pre-1978 recordings.
Section 304 of the Copyright Act provides that authors who are living when their original 28-year copyright expires are entitled to renew and extend the copyright another 67 years.
"Sho' Nuff" was released on People Records, a label set up by James Brown. The record was a hit, making it to the era-epic "Soul Train."
- Trustee Smells Something in Fishery Bankruptcy, and It's HSBC (FindLaw's U.S. Second Circuit Blog)
- Sharks Can Fight Over The Sloppy Tuna Trademark (FindLaw's U.S. Second Circuit Blog)
- United States Second Circuit Cases (FindLaw's Cases & Codes)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.