Judge: Shakira's Loca rips off Dominican artist's song
A federal judge has found that Loca, a hit 2010 song, by Colombian pop star Shakira copied a Dominican songwriter’s work.
A US district judge said on Tuesday that Shakira’s Spanish-language single Loca infringed on the work of Ramon Arias Vasquez, who wrote Loca con su Tiguere in the late 1990s.
Hellerstein dismissed claims that Shakira's English version of the track infringed, citing a lack of evidence.
The ruling is a victory for the plaintiff, Mayimba Music, which holds the rights to Arias's work.They also sued Sony Corp of America and several other Sony units in 2012.
The judge found Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos, for distributing Shakira’s song.
An attorney for Sony declined to comment. An attorney for Mayimba could not immediately be reached.
Shakira reached the top of the Latin Billboard charts with Loca, reportedly selling more than five million copies of the single worldwide.
Hellerstein said Shakira's single was based on a 2007 song by Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou, better known as El Cata, which also copied Arias and was distributed by Sony.
The ruling said Arias's song, and the subsequent copies, revolve around a love triangle in which the singers are poor and the opposing suitors are rich, a theme expressed in Arias's title. Shakira's version uses the word "tigre" (tiger) instead of "tiguere," which is Dominican slang, but Hellerstein said the meaning was the same.
The next phase of the case will determine Mayimba's damages and a permanent injunction requested by the company against Sony. - Reuters