Justin Timberlake sued for copyright infringement

| Feb 24, 2016 | Copyright Law

Music lovers in California likely associate ‘A New Day is Here at Last” with the performer J.C. Davis, but they may soon find it difficult to not think of Justin Timberlake when they hear the jazz tune played on the radio. The instrumental was written by Perry Kibble in 1969, and the music publishing company that currently holds the copyright to it has accused Timberlake and former Black Eyed Peas member Will Adams of using parts of ‘A New Day is Here at Last” without permission.

The publisher filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a New York federal court on Feb. 17 that alleges Timberlake and Adams, who is better known by his stage name will.i.am, used the main groove of ‘A New Day is Here at Last” without permission in their song ‘Damn Girl.” The instrumental section features an organ, drums, congas and a saxophone as well as bass and electric guitars.

In addition to undisclosed damages for using ‘A New Day is Here at Last” on the album ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds,” the music publisher is seekingcompensation for the tune being used on Timberlake’s live performance DVDs. The lawsuit is not the first time that Timberlake has run into legal problems. The 35-year-old singer and songwriter was sued in January 2015 by artists who claimed that they had not been paid as agreed.

Cases dealing with copyright infringement usually involve the entire work being used without permission, but this kind of litigation may also be initiated when a subsequent work is overwhelmingly similar to a protected original. However, this kind of lawsuit can be complex and highly expensive, and attorneys with experience in this area may pursue a settlement to avoid the uncertain outcome of a civil trial.