Judge Denies Justin Timberlake's Motion to Dismiss Copyright Case Over '70s Disco Song
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Justin Timberlake refutes a claim that he copied the ’70s disco song “A New Day Is Here At Last (Day)” with his 2006 song “Damn Girl” featuring Will.i.am.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the singer wanted the lawsuit filed against him over his song thrown out of court.
But United States District Judge Vernon S. Broderick has denied Timberlake’s and Will.i.am’s motion to throw out the copyright case.
In 2016, PK Music Performance sued Timberlake, Will.i.Am, and Sony Music accusing them of copying “Day,” which was written by Perry Kimble, who was a part of the 70s disco band, A Taste of Honey. PK reportedly obtained the rights to the song following Kimble’s death in 1999.
PK Music Performance Inc. whose principal, Janis McQuinton, is Kibble’s sister, claims the song, released by J.C. Davis, sounds significantly similar to “Day.”
Though Timberlake’s album, Futuresex/Lovesounds credits J.C. Davis for the sample with, “used courtesy of J.C. Davis under license to Cali-Tex Records,” McQuinton is claims this is a copyright claim because she is an owner, and Timberlake used the song without her permission.
According to a report in Forbes, Judge Broderick states, “It defies logic to transform Plaintiff’s infringement claim against Defendants into an ownership claim as part of an action in which Davis is not a party, neither party has moved to join him as a party, and he has not sought to intervene to enforce his purported ownership rights.” Interestingly enough, “Davis’s record credits Kibble as the writer of ‘Day.’”
He added, “Defendants have provided no authority supporting the position that a diligent plaintiff is one who watches or keeps track of major awards shows every year and listens to each song on each album or television special that was nominated for or won an award. Simply because a person could have bought the Album or DVD, attended a concert on the Tour, or watched the HBO Special does not mean that a reasonable person exercising due diligence in McQuinton’s position should have done any of those things.”
“Damn Girl” won two Grammys and went 4x platinum, while Timberlake’s tour for the track’s album,, went on to be featured in an HBO special.
The case is ongoing.