The legendary Mississippian composer Andy Stone, from the famous Vince Vance & The Valiants, is suing pop star Mariah Carey for copyright infringement. The suit claims that Mariah Carey, in cohorts — and dare we say in a cahoots relationship together with one Walter Afanasieff, composed a track titled “All I Want For Christmas Is You” about five years after the death of Mr. Stone composed his immortal song with the same name.
The actual songs involved have no connection to each other except for the moniker, and another 179 entries filed with the United States Copyright Office under the same name. Although the reference above contains recordings as well as songs, it's an extremely safe bet that at least one song that bears the moniker is being stored in the basement of a Washington, D.C. building.
BBC News has more on the complaint.
The song's writer Andy Stone says he co-wrote the song that bore the same title five years prior in the belief Carey exploited his “popularity” and “style”.
Although they share a title, the songs are very different musically, but Mr. Stone claims Ms. Carey created confusion and did not seek permission.
The specific nature and extent that explains the nature of Mr. Stone's “popularity” and “style” is currently under investigation.
While statistics for Mr. Stone's tracks are strangely not available, Carey has only earned an insignificant amount of 60 million dollars of royalties earned from the single. Spotify has more than the one-billion mark of streams on Spotify, with the latter making the singer, Carey, to date around $47.18. (Briefly without sarcasm, Spotify is the worst in terms of making money for artists.)
It is important to note that although copyright laws protect actual content in a song –melody, lyrics, chord structure and the like, song titles on their own are not a part of the song, making Mr. Stone's claim slightly suspect. Making it more suspect is the tiny aspect of the fact that Carey's track debuted in 1994. When you consider Mr. Stone's geographical location, Mississippi does have all the amenities of modern life like television, radio, as well as other broadcasting media. It is difficult to believe that anyone is the first to discover that the song was ever recorded even if one never visits a store between Christmas and Thanksgiving. Mr. Stone's defense is thin. Amber Heard just left him a message to tell him to bring it up.
Mr. Stone is asking for $20 million. Best of luck.