R&B artist John Legend is being sued for copyright infringement for the song Maxine’s Interlude appearing on his platinum-selling 2006 album, Once Again.
New Jersey songwriter Anthony Stokes filed a claim in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey-Newark against the Grammy-winner alleging that in 2004, while attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, he approached Legend after a concert at the college and handed him his demo tape, which included Mr. Stokes’ original, copyrighted composition entitled, Where Are You Now.
The suit contends that Maxine’s Interlude, which was released as a track on the Once Again album, bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Stokes’ song and misappropriates significant elements—both lyrically and musically—of Where Are You Now.
“We have reached out to Sony and Mr. Legend’s representation directly several times in order to attempt to amicably resolve this matter; however, our good faith efforts have been rebuffed. The only alternative with which we are left is to litigate,” attorney Louis D. Tambaro said.
“We are confident that we can prove the two required elements of copyright infringement: first, that Mr. Legend had access to Mr. Stokes’ copyrighted work, and, second, that substantial musical and lyrical similarities exist between the two compositions required to prove a claim for infringement under the Copyright Act,”
Tambaro is with the N.J.-based lawfirm Marks & Klein representing Tyrone “Caliber” Simmons who claims he was granted exclusive rights to the beat on 50 Cent’s hit I Get Money.
A copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in December 2010 against Curtis Jackson, a/k/a 50 Cent and is currently pending.