Cour de cassation [Cass.] [supreme court for judicial matters], 1e civ., Nov. 3, 2016 (France)
“Les Chansons d’artiste“
Calogero Joseph Salvatore Maurici (“Calogero”)
“Si seulement je pouvais lui manquait”
Comment by Gauthier Lunardi:
In this case, the judges held that the French singer Calogero has copied the song « Les Chansons d’artiste » by Laurent Feriol.
Calogero was accused of copyright infringement with his song « Si seulement je pouvais lui manquait ».
The expert considered that the two songs shared melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic similarities.
Calogero has tried to invoke the exception of “rencontre fortuite” (chance encouter). Indeed, he said that he did not hear the song before.
Judges held that the exception could not be applied because the song « Les chansons d’artistes » was performed several times in public. Moreover, the song was known by a lot of professionals in the music field.
Finally, Calogero (the French singer) did not prove that it was impossible for him to have access to the song « Les chansons d’artistes ».
About the similarities between the two songs:
– The two songs had 63% musical notes in common.
– The similarity between the refrain of the two songs was evaluated at 80%.
Cour de cassation [supreme court for judicial matters] (French) (2016): PDF
We will soon provide here an abstract in English of the decision.