Rod Stewart Sued for Copyright Infringement
Rod Stewart's 2013 album Time was a return to songwriting after a decade of recording covers. But one of its bonus tracks, a take on the country blues standard "Corrine, Corrina" has him in hot water with the estate of its writer, Armetia "Bo Carter" Chatmon, who claim that that Stewart infringed upon their copyrights.
Billboard is reporting that the estate has filed a lawsuit in Atlanta against Stewart, Capitol Records and Universal Music Group because Stewart's recording, called "Corrina, Corrina" and credited to "Traditional," is "nearly identical" to Carter's. The suit alleges that the two songs "contain substantially similar defining compositional elements, including, but not limited to lyrics, melody, rhythm, tempo, meter, key, and title."
The estate says they are the owners of the copyright on both Carter's original, which was released in 1929, and a second version, which contains an extra lyric and came out three years later. They feel Stewart willfully infrigned upon the rights, either by knowing that the song wasn't in the public domain or by not bothering to check. "Defendants had access to the [song] at the time they recorded and produced the Infringing Song due to [its] popularity and fame as well as its prominent publication since at least 1929," the suit reads. They are seeking actual damages, statory damages and an injunction.
Bob Dylan recorded "Corrina, Corrina" on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton covered Lead Belly's take on the song, which was named "Alberta," on his multiple Grammy-winning Unplugged album.
See Rod Stewart and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Rock Albums of the '70s
Criminally Underrated Rock Albums