U.S. News | Larry Heard Sues Trax Records for Copyright Infringement

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Music producers and pioneers, Larry Heard and Robert Owens have filed a lawsuit in the Illinois Northern District Court against Chicago-based music label, Trax Records for copyright infringement.

Heard and Owens alleges that the defendants infringed on its copyright and failed to pay royalties on iconic tracks, including ‘Can You Feel It’, ‘Bring Down The Walls’, and ‘Washing Machine.’

The Plaintiffs reportedly said that the defendants built its catalogue by taking advantage of the unsophisticated but creative house-music artists and songwriters by having them sign away their copyrights to their musical works for paltry amounts of money upfront and promises of continued royalties throughout the life of the copyrights but fails to fulfill its agreement.

The Plaintiffs reportedly said that Trax Records did not properly compensate them for their musical labor but rather registered their songs as the copyright holder.

The plaintiffs reportedly said that the infringement has caused lots of damages, loss of royalties and profit.

Heard reportedly said that “it was so disappointing that my earliest ventures into the music business were with a label in the community that turned out to be dishonest, like with many other artists that we hear about all too often. We are simply seeking justice and fairness. Maybe our efforts will shed light on the many predatory practices that have been in place for a long time in this industry.”

The plaintiffs are seeking payment for damages of $150,000 for each work that is alleged to have been infringed, but “not less than” $1 million in total.

The case is ongoing.

Heard et al v. Trax Records Inc. et al

Judge: Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman
Court: Illinois Northern District Court
Case #: 1:20-cv-03678
Nature of Suit: Copyright
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Case Filed: June 23, 2020
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 692 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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