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Yellowcard drop Juice Wrld song-theft lawsuit

By | Published on Tuesday 28 July 2020

Juice WRLD

Yellowcard have dismissed their lawsuit against the Juice Wrld estate, seemingly not keen on pursuing a legal battle with the late rapper’s grieving mother. Though the dismissal is without prejudice, meaning the band could re-file their case at some point in the future.

The former members of Yellowcard – the band having split in 2017 – sued Juice Wrld, real name Jarad Higgins, last October accusing him of lifting elements of their 2006 song ‘Holly Wood Died’ for his 2018 track ‘Lucid Dreams’. The lawsuit was filed less than two months before Higgins’ tragic death in December last year.

The band initially indicated that they planned to proceed with the lawsuit, though accepted that defendants would need more time to get their response together. In February, the case was stayed so that the Higgins estate could pick a representative to participate in the legal battle. A few weeks ago it was confirmed that that representative would be Higgins’ mother Carmela Wallace.

That appointment may well have resulted in the band’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit at this time. Their lawyer Richard Busch told reporters yesterday: “My clients really were uncomfortable about pursuing this action against Juice Wrld’s grieving mother as the representative of his estate”.

“As they said previously”, he went on, “they also are incredibly sympathetic about his death, and were torn initially about pursuing this in light of his death. As a result of all that has happened, they simply need additional time to decide what they want to do”.

However, the lawyer also stressed that the dismissal was without prejudice, allowing the action to be re-filed in the future.

The legal rep for the Higgins estate, Christine Lapera, confirmed that the Yellowcard case had been dismissed without any out-of-court settlement being agreed, adding that her side were still confident they could defeat the lawsuit if it is re-filed at any point.

She told Pitchfork: “Defendants were fully prepared to defend against the allegations – viewed as without merit – and remain so prepared should it become necessary. There was no settlement or consideration whatsoever for plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal”.

If the band do decide to go legal in the future, presumably again seeking a cut of the copyright in ‘Lucid Dreams’ as well as damages, one complication is that a slice of that copyright has already been handed to Sting over an uncleared sample in the track.

And, according to the New York Times, he and his long-time collaborator Dominic Miller are already getting 85% of the song royalties generated by ‘Lucid Dreams’ because of that uncleared sample. Which doesn’t leave all that much for Team Yellowcard to grab.