Aug 12, 2015

    Shakira's 2010 hit not a rip-off after all: Judge


    A CASE in which pop star Shakira's 2010 hit single Loca had been found to be an illegal copy of a Dominican songwriter's work came crashing down on Monday, when a United States judge said the songwriter had lied to the court and that the cassette tape on which his claims were based was a fake.

    US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan said it "was a basic issue of fraud in the trial", dismissing the copyright infringement case against Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos.

    Last August, Judge Hellerstein ruled that Shakira's Spanish-language chart-topper, and another song by a Dominican rapper known as El Cata, illegally ripped off a recording by Ramon Arias Vasquez called Loca Con Su Tiguere. The judge had found the Sony units liable for distributing the infringing songs.

    New York-based Mayimba Music, which owns the rights to Arias' work, sued Sony in 2012.

    On Monday, Judge Hellerstein said new evidence brought to his attention by Sony offered "competent and substantial proof" that the cassette on which Arias allegedly recorded the song, which had been used to register a US copyright, was not made in 1998 as claimed. Judge Hellerstein said he has lost faith in Arias' testimony.

    A representative for Mayimba and its lawyers declined to comment on Monday's ruling.

    Sony's attorney, Barry Slotnick, said: "We're very pleased and gratified on behalf of Sony and the real writers, El Cata and Shakira."