Songwriter's Corner|

Photo: Mariah Carey (from her Facebook page) | By Alexandra Canal, Yahoo Finance | In a civil lawsuit filed on Friday, songwriter Andy Stone (who performs under the stage name Vince Vance and the Valiants), is seeking at least $20 million in damages from Carey, along with her co-writer Walter Afanasieff and label Sony Music Entertainment (SONY), after alleging “copyright infringement and unjust enrichment”over a song he wrote in 1989 also titled “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Aside from the title, the songs do not have the same lyrics, nor do they sound similar. Carey’s version is an upbeat pop tune, while Stone’s is a country ballad.

Still, the songwriter claims that the defendants failed to seek “permission” to use the song’s title.

But one lawyer says that the relationships between the two songs is “unclear” — and that it will be “hard” for Stone to prove copyright infringement given the stark differences.

“The copyright registration is for the musical composition and the lyrics — it’s not for the title. You can’t copyright a song title,” trademark attorney, David Leichtman, explained to Yahoo Finance.

“It is very unclear what he’s suing over,” the attorney continued, adding that it will be difficult for his lawyers to argue “with a straight face that the song is substantially similar.”
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Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com

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