Shakira’s Loca Lawsuit – What If Hips Do Lie?

While she’s relatively confident of the truthfulness of her hips, Shakira should probably be a little more skeptical about her business partners. A federal judge has determined that one of her hit songs contains lyrics directly taken from another musician.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein found two subsidiaries of Sony Corp. of America, who deal with the distribution of the Colombian native’s music, guilty of copyright infringement. The lawsuit deals with Shakira’s 2010 hit single, “Loca”, which was a remake of a song by her business partner, Eduard “El Cata” Bello. Or so she thought.

Bello approached Shakira with the song that he claimed made him famous, “Loca Con Su Tiguere”, and asked her to rework it for him. Along with fellow musician Pitbull, Shakira created a Spanish language version of the song, which features a rap from El Cata. The single was an instant hit for Shakira, and led to an infamous video in which the sultry singer danced and rollerbladed in a bikini top and skintight pants.

Unfortunately for her, she didn’t inquire about the origins of Bello’s track, which turned out not to be his at all. In 1998, a Dominican songwriter by the name of Ramon “Arias” Vasquez recorded a song titled “Loca Con Su Tiguere”. The song was inspired by his sister’s love triangle with a wealthy man and a “Tiguere” (Dominican slang for street tough).

Sometime between 2006 and 2007, Vasquez met Bello outside a recording studio in the Dominican Republic, and sang for him. His hope was for Bello to record the track. Bello recorded it, but claimed it to be his own. In 2009, Bello released his official studio debut album, El Malo, which included the song “Loca Con Su Tiguere.”

In the recent court trial, Vasquez sang his song to Judge Hellerstein, despite Bello’s claims that the song was written by him about his ex-wife. The judge allowed a 1998 cassette tape into evidence, which featured a recording of the song. The judge also pointed to evidence that Bello previously made public statements of the origin of the song, which contradicted that which he stated in court.

While the lawsuit focuses mainly on the Spanish version of Shakira’s rendition, in which Bello sings portions of the song, traditional judicial rulings of song plagiarism are rather rare. Copyright lawsuits are common, but this lawsuit centers on the exactly similar expression of rhythm and lyrics.

Judge Hellerstein has determined that Bello’s work, and by association Shakira’s as well, contained “actual copying”, which had to be determined via the “ordinary observer test”, a method to compare the total concept and feel of both songs.

Having concluded that both songs are driven by a long verse and a repetitive hook, with a similar rhythm, the judge turned his attention to Shakira’s version, stating that “since Bello had copied Arias, whoever wrote Shakira’s version indirectly copied Arias.”

Damages will be determined in another trial phase, in which SonyATV Latin and Sony/ATV Disco will be liable.

 

External Relevant Link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/21/shakira-loca-ripped-off-song-lyrics-copy_n_5698034.html

 

NJ Judge Rules Rap Lyrics Are Protected Free Speech

This story only warranted the bottom of the page on NJ.com, but I think it’s important since it’s a judicial ruling on free speech.

According to NJ.com, “On Aug. 4, the state Supreme Court ruled notebooks filled with gangster rap lyrics written by a man accused of attempted murder cannot be used as evidence to help prove a motive.

“Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote that the lyrics are protected free speech, and to use them at the trial of a man accused of shooting and paralyzing a man ‘risked poisoning the jury.’

“’One would not presume that Bob Marley, who wrote the well-known song I Shot the Sheriff, actually shot a sheriff, or that Edgar Allan Poe buried a man beneath his floorboards, as depicted in his short story The Tell-Tale Heart, simply because of their respective artistic endeavors on those subjects,’ LaVecchia wrote. “’he Court reasons that defendant’s lyrics should receive no different treatment.’”

 

Yes Another List of Misheard Lyrics

Whether it’s Katherine Heigl singing the wrong lyrics to Benny and the Jets in the movie 27 Dresses, or you singing along on the radio, misheard lyrics are a way of life.

So, besides our web page on misheard lyrics, the Huffington Post has also put together their top 13 list of lyrics gone wrong that are funnier that the original version.

Don’t worry as besides the wrong lyrics they also list the correct ones as well. Some of these misheard lyrics overlap with what we have on our website such as those by Jimi Hendrix but there are other original and funny spins on the original words.

It’s worth checking out here.

 

Bob Dylan Lyrics Sell for $2 Million Buckaroos

Bob Dylan’s handwritten Like a Rolling Stone lyrics

A draft of the working lyrics of Bob Dylan’s classic song “Like a Rolling Stone” (see pictured above) was sold at auction for $2 million. The handwritten lyrics were sold at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City, NY on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

According to the LA Times, “The identity of the buyer was not released, but the purchase price bested the previous record of $1.2 million paid in 2010 for John Lennon’s lyrics to ‘A Day in the Life’ from ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’

“Lyrics to another Dylan classic, ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,’ sold for $485,000, according to Reuters, at Sotheby’s first dedicated music history sale in more than a decade.”

It would be even better if the lyrics finally came home to their rightful owner. So, how does it feel?

 

Bing Prediction Engine Cold Start with American Idol

At the end of April 2014, Microsoft’s Bing rolled out a new feature called the Prediction Engine targeting a few TV talent contests. One of the contests targeted was American Idol. Simply go to Bing and type in “American Idol Predictions” and the faces and predicted rankings (and eliminations) will pop up in the results.

Bing has stated, “The central idea behind the direct approach is that winners and losers correspond to popularity. In broad strokes, we define popularity as the frequency and sentiment of searches combined with social signals and keywords. Placing these signals into our model, we can predict the outcome of an event with high confidence.”

Now, the only Bing predictions I have tracked are for American Idol. When Bing first tried to crank over the Prediction engine Sam Woolf had been tossed from the ejector seat. In reality he was still around. The next prediction was the Sam would stay and Jessica Meusse was going home. Wrong again. Sam went home and Jessica stayed.

The next prediction was the Jessica would go home and this one was right on the money. The Bing Predictions as of this morning are that Caleb Johnson will win, Jena Irene will come in second and Alex Preston will be eliminated.

The Prediction Engine doesn’t foretell the odds on how much of a dark horse Jena is in regard to pulling an upset. Let’s see how well tuned the Bing Engine is now as the next American Idol elimination quickly approaches.