3 Count: Somewhat Less Lit

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1: 11th Circuit Overturns $1.4 Million Award for Rapper in Copyright Battle

First off today, Kayla Goggin at Courthouse News Service reports that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s verdict in the Everything Be Lit case over concerns that the amended complaint was not served properly.

The lawsuit was filed by rapper Anthony Campbell, who claimed that the 2018 song Everyday We Lit by YFN Lucci was an infringement of Campbell’s 2016 song Everything Be Lit. Campbell filed the lawsuit in 2018 and the lawsuit quickly ended as none of the defendants participated in the case, resulting in a default judgment. After that ruling, Campbell filed an amended complaint seeking an actual damages award.

However, according to the defendants, that amended complaint was not properly served to some of the defendants, who were accordingly unaware of their liability in this case. As such, a three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously overturned the default judgment and sent the case back to the lower court for more hearings.

2: Sam Smith, Normani Ask Judge to Dismiss ‘Nonsensical’ Claims in Amended Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Next up today, Nancy Dillon at Rolling Stone reports that Sam Smith and Normani are asking a judge to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit filed over their 2019 song Dancing with a Stranger.

The lawsuit was filed by songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda, and, Rosco Banlaoi, who allege that Dancing with a Stranger is an infringement of a song published on Vincent’s YouTube channel.

However, now the defendants are hoping to get the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that the complaint fails to identify what infringements, if any, each defendant is responsible for and that the plaintiffs allege secondary liability but do not make a clear case for whom is the direct infringer.

3: Taylor Swift Blasts Expert Hired in ‘Shake It Off’ Case: ‘Making It Up As He Goes Along’

Finally today, Bill Donahue at Billboard reports that Taylor Swift is asking a judge to exclude “unqualified” expert witnesses from testifying in her upcoming trial regarding her song Shake it Off.

The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler, who claimed that their 2001 song Playas Gon’ Play was infringed by Swift’s 2014 song Shake it Off. Specifically, they cited lyrical and other similarities. The case itself is currently scheduled for a trial, but Swift’s team is hoping to exclude a pair of expert witnesses on the grounds they are unqualified in the matter at hand.

According to Swift, she never heard the alleged original song and the overlapping elements are common among songs in the genre. To counter that, the plaintiffs aim to bring two expert witnesses, one to speak on the literary similarities and another on the music licensing issues, however, Swift’s team claims that both are unqualified and are speaking outside their areas of expertise.

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