Sponsored by The George Washington University Law School & Columbia Law School



Stories about claims of music copyright infringement appear fairly regularly in Variety and other mainstream publications. Few of these disputes go to trial, and fewer still generate published judicial opinions. Since the 1850s federal courts have published over 100 opinions dealing with this issue, but the frequency with which these cases arise has increased markedly over the past twenty years. We will, of course, add new cases to the web site as they surface.  With this modestly proportioned body of information we have organized the cases chronologically by year.

List of Cases


YearCountryCase NameCourtComplaining WorkDefending WorkComplaining AuthorDefending
2020USEstate of James Oscar Smith v. Cash Money Records2d Cir.Jimmy Smith RapPound CakeJimmy SmithAubrey Drake Graham aka "Drake"
2020USYeasayer v. TesfayeS.D.N.Y.SunrisePray for MeYeasayer, LLCAbel Makkonen Tesfaye (“The Weeknd”); Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
2020USMichael Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin9th Cir.TaurusStairway to HeavenRandy WolfeJimmy Page
2020USMarcus Gray, et al. v. Katy PerryC.D. Cal.Joyful NoiseDark HorseMarcus Gray, et al.Katy Perry, et al.
2020US[INPLAY] Armes v. PostC.D. Cal.CirclesTyler ArmesAustin Post (aka "Post Malone")
2020US[INPLAY] Gordon v. ChambersE.D.N.Y.Yung Gordon IntroStoopidSeth Gordon ("Yung Gordon")Brytavious Chambers (“Tay Keith”);
Daniel Hernandez (“Takashi 6ix9ine”)
2020US[INPLAY] Jackson v. Apple, Inc.N.D. Cal.Side ShowDarell JacksonApple, Inc., et al.
2020US[INPLAY] Griffin v. Sheeran, et al.S.D.N.Y.Let's Get It OnThinking Out LoudMarvin GayeEd Sheeran
2020US[INPLAY] Basil v. AMCC.D. Cal.MickeyToni Basil
2020USNew Day Worldwide v. Taylor SwiftC.D. Cal.Haters gone HateShake it OffJesse GrahamTaylor Swift
2020US[INPLAY] Stines v. Knowles, et. al. C.D. CalBlack EffectThe Carters
2020USJackson ("50 Cent") v. Roberts2d Cir.In Da ClubRenzel RemixesCurtis James Jackson ("50 Cent")William Leonard Roberts II ("Rick Ross")
2020US[INPLAY] Hayes v. LamarC.D. Cal.LoyaltyTerrance HayesKendrick Lamar
2020DE[INPLAY] Hütter v. PelhaCourt of Justice of EUMetall auf MetallNur mirKraftwerkSabrina Setlur
2020USStone v. GrandeS.D.N.Y.You Need It, I Got It7 RingsJosh StoneAriana Grande
2020UKSheeran v. Chokri[2020] EWHC 2806 (Ch) High Court of Justice, England and Wales, Chancery Div. Oh WhyShape of YouSam ChokriEd Sheeran
2020USStructured Asset Sales v. SheeranS.D.N.Y.Let's Get It OnThinking Out LoudMarvin GayeEd Sheeran
2020USNorwood v. Quality Control Music, LLCN.D. Ga.MartianHow Did I Get Here ft. J. ColeBarbara NorwoodOffset
2021US[INPLAY] Nwosuocha v. Glover, et al.S.D.N.Y.Made in AmericaThis Is AmericaEmelike NwosuochaDonald Glover
2021US[INPLAY] Cooper, et al. v. Brown, et al.S.D. Fla.I Love Your DressNo GuidanceMr. CooperChris Brown & Drake
2021US[INPLAY] Cates v. Shlemovitz, et al.N.D.N.Y.She Loves Her JobFeBreze TaglineCameron CatesShlemovitz, et al.
2021USJohannsongs-Publishing Ltd. v. Lovland9th Cir. SöknuðurYou Raised Me UpJóhann HelgasonRolf Løvland
2021USAOM Music, Inc v. Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (p/k/a Bad Bunny)C.D. Cal.Playero WorksSafaeraAOM Music, IncBenito Antonio Martínez Ocasio p/k/a/ Bad Bunny
2022USFrisby v. Sony9th Cir.Shawty So ColdDeja Vu; ExchangeG-MoneyJ. Cole; Bryson Tiller
2022USQuinn et al v. Powell et al [IN PLAY]N.D. Ga.Back N ForthLiving My Best LifeDarwin Quinn, Mitchelle’l SiumRoland Powell p/k/a Lil' Duvall, Rich Broke Entertainment, LLC
2022USCope v. Dua Lipa, et al.E.D. La.Live Your LifeLevitatingArtikal SoundDua Lipa
2022US[INPLAY] Ultra v. WestS.D.N.Y.Move Your BodyFlowersMarshall JeffersonKanye West
2022USPhase One Network v. Kanye West [InPlay]S.D.N.Y.South BronxLife of the PartyLawrence Parker, Scott SterlingKanye West
2022USMoten v. Def JamN.D. Tex.Unspecified SermonCome to LifeBishop David Paul MotenKanye West
2022USPatrick v. PoreeN.D. Ga.I Do What I WantYolanda PatrickApril Louise Poree
2022USSound & Color v. Sam SmithC.D. Cal.Dancing with StrangersDancing with a StrangerJordan Vincent, Christopher MirandaSam Smith, Normani
2023US[INPLAY] Astley v. HauriCal.Super.Ct., Los Angeles CountyNever Gonna Give You UpBetty (Get Money)Rick AstleyYung Gravy
2023USStone v. CareyC.D. Cal.All I Want for Christmas is YouAll I Want for Christmas is YouAndy Stone, AKA Vinnie VanceMariah Carey
The George Washington University Law School

2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

Jacob Burns Law Library

716 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052