​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Timothy Arnett

“Remember Me”

Audio Recording

Alan Jackson

“Remember When”

Audio Recording


Comment by Charles Cronin

This dispute reflects a troublesome trend in which claims for copyright infringement of musical works are based on nothing more than a common word or shared musical genre. It is difficult to believe that attorneys for plaintiffs in cases like this one — even working on a contingency fee basis — are so unfamiliar with basic copyright principles that they could pursue them in good faith. One might argue that specious claims based on nothing more than insignificant commonalities of non-protectable expression abuse not only the targeted defendants, but also our tax-funded federal courts.

The only commonalities between the works in the instant case are the word “remember” (used in entirely different contexts) and a country ballad genre. Perhaps the absence of musical or verbal similarities of any significance prompted the plaintiff to lard his complaint with legal irrelevancies about his personal life and — this is priceless: “based on his own recognition of the importance of the work” and “even though the anthrax scare made copyright filings … difficult” he somehow succeeded in obtaining a registration!

In August 2017 District Court Judge James Dever granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint mainly based upon the plaintiff’s extravagantly attenuated evidence of access to his work by the defendants, that “amounts to nothing more than a tortuous chain of hypothetical transmittals.”



Amended Complaint: PDF

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss: PDF

District Court Order Dismissing Amended Complaint: PDF