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Mariah Carey Copyright Case For 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' Dropped

Andy Stone, a country singer, dropped his lawsuit against Mariah Carey for copyright infringement over her hit song "All I Want for Christmas Is You." In June, Mr. Stone, a songwriter, sued the pop star, saying that he had co-written a song with the same name five years before.

Suleman Shah
Nov 04, 202282 Shares1287 Views
A Mississippi songwriter who wrote "All I Want for Christmas Is You," a holiday classic and repeat chart-topper from 1994, sued Mariah Carey copyright casefor $20 million. The case has been dropped.
Andy Stone sued Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff in June, but on Tuesday, he dropped the case against Carey. A report from Rolling Stonesays that Stone was looking for at least $20 million in damages for alleged copyright infringement related only to the songs' similar titles.

Mariah Carey Sued For $20M Over Copyright Infringement Of 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'

A songwriter who sued Mariah Carey because he thought she copied his song "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has put the lawsuit on hold for now.
Vince Vance, a musician from Mississippi, sued Mariah Carey over copyright issues this summer. He said that Carey's 1994 holiday hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You" copied his 1989 song of the same name.
"All I Want" by Carey has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during each of the last three holiday seasons. But on Tuesday, Vance's lawyers asked the court to let the case against Carey go away on its own.
The move means that the case will be thrown out, but Vance can still file it again in the future. Both Carey and Vance's lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
Vance sued Carey in June, saying that his version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was recorded in 1989 and played a lot during the holiday season of 1993, a year before Carey released her more famous version of the same name.
He said that Carey's song was "based on" his own, and he sued her, her co-writer Walter Afanasieff, and Sony Music for at least $20 million. When the lawsuit against Carey was filed, it caught many people by surprise.
Didn't Vance wait too long to bring his case? There must be a limit on how long you can sue over a song that has been popular for almost 30 years, right?
But the surprising answer is no. This is mostly because of a decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 about the movie Raging Bull. This decision overturned long-standing rules that limited how long a copyright owner could wait before going to court.
In the music business, the Raging Bull ruling has led to a number of lawsuits in recent years over copyright issues that go back decades, including one against Led Zeppelin over "Stairway to Heaven" which got a lot of attention.
In another case, "The Fly" by U2 and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf were accused of stealing someone else's work.
But just because someone can sue doesn't mean they will win. This summer, experts told Billboard that Vance's claims about "All I Want for Christmas is You" would still have a hard time in court.
Even though the two songs have the same name and a single line in common, that's about all they have in common. The U.S. Copyright Office has records of many other songs with the name "All I Want for Christmas Is You," some of which were written before either Carey's or Vance's songs.
Paul Fakler, a veteran music litigator at the law firm Mayer Brown, told Billboard this summer:
The only similarity he claims is in the title of the song, not the music or lyrics. Words and short phrases are not protectable under copyright law, and there are dozens of other songs with that same title.- Paul Fakler
Before Vance asked for the case to be dropped this week, not much had happened in court in the past four months, and the case was still in its earliest stages of the procedure. When asked why they dropped the case or if they plan to re-file it, his lawyers did not answer.

Conclusion

Sony Corp. of America and Sony Music were both named as defendants in the lawsuit. Sony Music released "All I Want for Christmas Is You" on Columbia Records. Stone's lawyers voluntarily dropped the case, which means the plaintiff can file it again in the future.
However, as Rolling Stone points out, Stone is unlikely to get the $20 million prize he was hoping for because there are already 177 songs with the title "All I Want for Christmas Is You" that are protected by intellectual property rights. So Mariah Carey's copyright case was dropped.
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