District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, No. 5:19-cv-00114 (W.D. Tex. Feb. 08, 2019)

​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Esmeralda Lucy Rodriguez


Audio Recording

Esmeralda Lucy Rodriguez

“Pediré” (“cover” recording by Courtney Rico and Eric Avalos)

Comment by Charles Cronin

According to the Complaint, the Defendant infringed the Plaintiff’s song by recording a “cover” of it without her authorization. In fact, the Defendant did not need such authorization. Because the Plaintiff had already released her recording of the song the Defendant could have legally made his own recording had he done so under a compulsory license and paid royalties to the Plaintiff. Apparently he chose a riskier approach based on his claim that the Plaintiff owed him money. This tack, worsened by his ignoring the legal action brought against him, backfired badly, particularly when the Court learned that Defendant, having agreeing to no longer capitalize on Plaintiff’s work, recorded and posted his recording of it on the internet .  Judge Xavier Rodriguez (presumably unrelated to Plaintiff) awarded Plaintiff about $30,000 in damages and attorney’s fees — likely hundreds of times the total royalties Defendant would have owed the Plaintiff had he earlier complied with the law. Remarkably enough, as of September 2020, the Plaintiff has successfully collected about $30,500 of this judgment.

Complaint: PDF

Final Judgement: PDF