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Business News (more headlines) 09-11-2012

Three Musicians Accuse Usher Of Copyright Infringement Over Hit Single "Caught Up" In Recently Filed Lawsuit

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Musicians Zacharia L. Edwards, Mitch Moses and Vince McClean (plaintiffs) alleged that their composition "Caught Up," which they played for Michael Barackman, Senior Director of A&R at Arista Records in October 2002, became a hit single for Usher in November 2004, without their involvement, approval or knowledge. The plaintiffs assert that Usher, working with Arista Records, Universal Music Corporation and several other associated entities, utilized the theme, melody, hook, lyrics, and chorus of their original copyrighted composition, thereby infringing on their rights and generating millions in profits for the defendants.

In 2002 the plaintiffs, all New York residents, created, composed and authored an original musical composition which they called "Caught Up." They were called to Arista Records in October 2002 specifically to play music that might be useful for one of Arista's upcoming albums. Arista representatives liked "Caught Up" so much that they requested copy for L.A. Reid and Mark Pitts of Arista, who it is believed, were looking for songs for Usher's soon-to-be released album "Confessions." In March 2004 Usher released the instantly successful "Confessions"; in November 2004 Usher followed this with the release of the song "Caught Up" from the "Confessions" album, which peaked at number eight in the United States.

In 2004 the Plaintiffs attempted to contact Usher and Harris, Davis, Boyd and Toby to discuss the issue of infringement of their song "Caught Up." Harris, Davis, Boyd and Toby are cited as the co-authors of "Caught Up": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caught_Up_(Usher_song)

"The plaintiffs were contacted by several individuals who felt that Usher and the rest of the defendants had copied their composition. An ordinary lay observer could listen to the two(2) musical compositions at issue, and find that the songs are substantially similar. This unauthorized use of material has made Usher and company millions for almost a decade," says Dan Voelker of Voelker Litigation Group, representing the plaintiffs.

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