​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Herman Weems

“Why Can’t There be Love?”

Audio Recording

Tyler Okonma


Audio Recording


Comment by Charles Cronin

The plaintiff appears uncertain as to what it owns and what it’s claiming, and the Complaint is comprised of a lot of boilerplate, and sweeping and factually unsupported allegations of copying.  E.g., “The Plaintiff has the exclusive right, among other things, to make reproductions of it’s [sic] Copyrighted musical composition in all forms. This is the most sacrosanct of rights afforded copyright owners.” How so??


The Complaint claims that the defendants “sampled” the plaintiff’s musical composition. But the recording of the defendant’s song that the plaintiff appears to be claiming defendants sampled was made in 1971, and not independently protectable at that time. Accordingly, even if defendants did sample the unprotected recording, this doesn’t constitute infringement because the copied portion of the recorded underlying work is nothing more than a commonplace rhythmic tattoo that is both insufficiently original, and de minimis, to obtain copyright protection.


In May 2018 the case “settled” – which typically means the defendant decided to cut losses by paying the plaintiff and her lawyer enough to withdraw an opportunistic claim.



Complaint (PDF)

Notice of Settlement (PDF)