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Mariah Carey Wins Court Battle Over “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

A $20 million copyright infringement lawsuit launched by a Mississippi songwriter against Mariah Carey, her co-writer on the number-one hit holiday classic  “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” was dismissed by a Louisiana court judge.

Two songs of different tunes

REUTERS/ Mario Anzuoni/ File Photo | In addition to five Grammy Awards, Mariah Carey has won numerous Billboard Music Awards and World Music Awards.

Since its release, the song from her album “Merry Christmas” has become a worldwide classic and a strong favorite in the pop Christmas music category.

Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff were mentioned in a complaint filed by musician Andy Stone, who alleged that Carey and her colleagues “knowingly, willfully, and purposefully participated in a campaign” to violate Stone’s copyright for the song. According to court filings filed in the eastern district of Louisiana, Stone asserted that he co-wrote a song with the same title and did not provide authorization for its use.

The two songs feature contrasting words and melodies. According to court documents acquired by PA Media, Stone’s band Vince Vance and the Valiants recorded and released the song during the ’80s. The filings claim that Carey and Afanasieff engaged in “acts of unjust enrichment through the unauthorized appropriation of plaintiff’s work and the goodwill connected therewith.”

More about the lawsuit

Jeff Kravitz/ CNBC | In 2021, it was claimed that Carey has raked in more than $60 million from ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’

According to the complaint, which was obtained by The Times, Vince Vance & the Valiants’ rendition of “All I Want” gained “significant exposure throughout the Christmas season” after its release and “began making appearances on the Billboard charts.” It is unknown what Stone claims to be the connection between the two tracks. Carey’s song is a lively pop piece, whereas Stone’s is a subdued country song.

“Merry Christmas,” which was published by Columbia Records, became the best-selling Christmas album of all time in the United States, selling more than 15 million copies worldwide.

According to the lawsuit, Stone’s attorneys contacted Carey and her co-defendants before the case was filed but “were unable to reach an arrangement,” as reported by the BBC. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the singer “personally urged” Carey to discontinue publishing her song. It is unknown when Stone first heard Carey’s album, which has been streamed over one billion times.

Lawsuit dropped

Shutterstock/ Variety | A lawsuit was filed in New Orleans federal court in June on behalf of the creators of the identically titled 1989 song

Stone’s attorneys did not contact Carey’s legal team until a few months before the lawsuit, despite the fact that Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been a holiday classic since its premiere. The subsequent cease and desist letter was disregarded. Stone was demanding comprehensive compensation of at least $20 million!

Stone’s attorneys voluntarily dismissed the case, which means the plaintiff can refile the suit in the future. However, as Rolling Stone notes, Stone is unlikely to receive the $20 million prize he was seeking because there are currently 177 copyrighted songs with the title “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” many of which were created before Vince Vance and the Valiants’ rendition.

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