New developments have occurred in the Yellowcard and Juice WRLD lawsuit as of Jan. 13. To catch you up to speed, in the original complaint filed, Yellowcard alleges Juice WRLD and his collaborators ripped “melodic elements” from their track without permission. They filed the complaint in Oct. 2019.
The original response date of the defendants was Dec. 9, 2019. But, following the tragic death of Juice WRLD on Dec. 8, Yellowcard put the lawsuit on pause. Shortly thereafter, Yellowcard filed a legal notice extending some of the defendants’ deadline to Feb. 4.
Now, another defendant in the Juice WRLD case filed for an extension to Feb. 4 as well. BMG Rights Management requested on Jan. 13 that they have until Feb. 4 to respond to the initial complaint filed by Yellowcard.
Defendants Grade A Productions, LLC, Songs of Universal, Inc., and Interscope Records originally requested the extension and received the Feb. 4 date.
BMG is the music publisher of the entire songwriting catalog of Juice WRLD. Following his death, BMG issued a statement.
“Juice WRLD is one of the most ambitious, dynamic, and prolific artists of his time, with a unique style all his own,” Thomas Scherer, EVP, BMG Los Angeles said. “Above all, as a person, he was kind, thoughtful, and generous. He had a vibrant soul, an authenticity full of energy, love, curiosity and music.”
“We admire him as the person he was, as much as the person he was becoming. What he accomplished and achieved in such a short time, and at such a young age, is nothing short of extraordinary. We are absolutely devastated and mourn the loss of a young bright star gone far too soon.”
More developments are sure to follow in the coming weeks.
More on the Yellowcard and Juice WRLD lawsuit
Upon the initial paperwork filing to continue the lawsuit, Yellowcard had made no comment. Previously they stated “We’re digesting the news.” A few days later, Yellowcard’s lawyer Richard Busch’s firm, King & Fallow made a statement to Billboard.
“First of all, we were as shocked and saddened by Juice WRLD’s death as everyone else,” King & Fallow state. “It is a tragic loss to his family, his fans, and to the music world at large, and we understand why people may be confused about the decision to continue with this lawsuit.”
“My clients are certainly torn about proceeding, and understand the optics involved. But it is important to remember that this lawsuit was filed before this tragic event, and was filed because all of the defendants (and there are two other writers and several music publishers and record labels), profited off of what we believe was clear copying and infringement of Yellowcard’s work.” King & Fallow continue.
“So while they are absolutely aware of how this may be perceived, and truly have incredible mixed emotions, the question is whether it is fair that all of those many parties profited, and will continue to profit, off of what my client’s believe strongly was their work.”
Yellowcard is seeking $15 million in damages in the suit. They claim the rapper’s 2018 hit “Lucid Dreams” was a knock off of their 2006 track “Holly Wood Died”.
But, King & Fallow also state that the $15 million number attached to the lawsuit was falsely reported. They state that Yellowcard “are simply seeking what the law allows, and what parties in their position have sought in similar cases, which at this point is not determined.”
Former Yellowcard members William Ryan Key, Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin, Peter Michael Mosely and Longineu Warren Parsons filed the complaint in late October in the U.S. District Court in California.
“Defendants copied the Original Work without license or consent, and have exploited the subsequent Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording to their collective benefit without regard to Plaintiffs’ rights and to Plaintiffs’ detriment,” the filed complaint reads.
“The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording are not only substantially similar to the Original Work, but in some places virtually identical.”
Juice WRLD’s death occurred after Higgins deplaned from a private jet traveling from California to his hometown of Chicago. Once landing at Chicago Midway International Airport, witnesses reported he suffered a seizure while walking through the airport. TMZ reports he was “bleeding from the mouth” when paramedics arrived.
See more: In memoriam: Musicians we lost in 2019