This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 05/03/2022 at 09:10:14 (UTC).

Sound and Color, LLC v. Samuel Smith et al

Case Summary

On March 04, 2022, Sound and Color, LLC (“Sound and Color” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Steven T. Lowe of Lowe & Associates PC, filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Samuel Smith (“Smith”), Normani Kordei Hamilton (“Normani”), Stargate (“Stargate”), Mikkel Storleer Eriksen (“Eriksen”), Tor Erik Hermansen (“Hermansen”), and others (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory relief with attorneys’ fees and costs for the alleged infringement of Plaintiff’s song by duplicating it, copying it, creating derivative works, publicly performing it and otherwise reproducing and exploiting it without authorization. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. 

In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that “This music copyright infringement suit arises from copying by defendants Sam Smith (‘Smith’) and Normani Kordei Hamilton (‘Normani’) of Plaintiff’s 2015 song ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ (the Plaintiffs’ composition/song recording shall hereinafter be referred to as the ‘Song’) to create their hit 2019 song ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ (the Defendants’ composition/sound recording shall hereinafter be referred to as the ‘Infringing Song’) (collectively the ‘Songs’).”

The Plaintiff further alleged that “The songs’ similarity is especially apparent in the selection and arrangement of the musical composition and sound recording elements, particularly the identical lyrics ‘Dancing With a Stranger’ overlaying the nearly identical melodies, in both songs’ hooks. This selection and arrangement of the musical elements in Plaintiff’s song was copied in Defendants’ song.”

The Plaintiff also alleged that “Defendants violated Plaintiff’s exclusive rights by, including but not limited to, doing the following: a. copying and reproducing Plaintiff’s music composition and sound recording copyrights without permission, b. preparing derivative works based upon Plaintiff’s music composition and sound recording copyrights which are substantially similar to Plaintiff’s works, c. distributing copies of the copyrighted works to the public, d. performing the works publicly.” Additionally, the Plaintiff alleged that “Defendants have also encouraged and otherwise induced third parties to infringe on Plaintiff’s composition and sound recording copyrights on a widespread basis.”

 The Plaintiff has laid down three claims for relief. The first claim is for alleged direct copyright infringement. The second claim is for alleged contributory copyright infringement, and the third claim is for alleged vicarious copyright infringement wherein the Plaintiff claimed that Defendants had and have knowledge of the ongoing infringing activity that is the subject of this lawsuit—the use of the words “Dancing With A Stranger” in “Dancing With A Stranger”—and have induced and materially contributed to the infringing conduct of the direct infringers of Plaintiff’s copyrighted song. Without authorization or permission, Defendants continue to exploit Plaintiff’s Song reaping tremendous financial rewards and other pecuniary benefits, to the detriment of the Plaintiff.

In the prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court for declarations of authorship and ownership, compensatory damages, together with interest, costs, and delay damages, actual damages, direct profits, and/or indirect profits including but not limited to licensing fees, mechanical royalties, advertising revenue, streaming revenue, concert revenue, and punitive and exemplary damages. The Plaintiff further requested statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement, costs and attorney’s fees, and such other and further relief as the court deems just, necessary, and appropriate under the circumstances or allowed by statute.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    2:22-CV-01508

  • Filing Date:

    03/04/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Intellectual Property - Copyright

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Andre Birotte Jr

Referral Judge

Alka Sagar

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Sound and Color, LLC

Defendants

Samuel Smith

Normani Kordei Hamilton

Stargate

Mikkel Storleer Eriksen

Tor Erik Hermansen

James John Napier

Universal Music Group

Universal Music Operations Limited

UMG Recordings INC.

Sony Music Group

Sony Corporation of America

Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd.

Sony/ATV Songs LLC

EMI Music Publishing Ltd

EMI April Music Inc.

Emi Blackwood Music Inc.

Downtown Music Publishing LLC

Salli Isaak Songs LTD

6 More Parties Available

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Steven T. Lowe

Attorney at Lowe and Associates PC

8383 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1038

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Alfred J. Fluehr

Attorney at Francis Alexander LLC

280 North Providence Road Suite 1

Media, PA 19063

 

Court Documents

#16

(#16) 21-Day Summons Issued re Complaint #1 as to Defendants Samuel Smith, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Stargate, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, James John Napier, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Operations Limited, UMG Recordings Inc., Sony Music Group, Sony Corporation of America, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Songs LLC, EMI Music Publishing LTD, EMI April Music Inc., EMI Blackwood Music Inc., Downtown Music Publishing LLC, Salli Isaak Songs LTD, Naughty Words Limited, Songs of NKH, Stellar Songs Limited, Stellar Songs, Tim & Danny Music LLC, 45th & 3rd Music LLC. (gk) (Entered: 04/04/2022)

#15

(#15) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening), #1 filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Fluehr, Alfred) (Entered: 03/31/2022)

#14

(#14) NOTICE OF DEFICIENCIES in Request to Issue Summons RE: Complaint #1 . The following error(s) was found: The phrase "et. al," should not be used on the Summons form. In its place, the filer should insert at least one party's name in the space available, and then indicate, "(See Attached)." The Summons should be directed to at least one defendant in the section that begins, "To: (Defendant's name and address)," before indicating, "See attached." Separate attachments should clearly identify which sections of the summons the attachments belong to. The summons cannot be issued until this defect has been corrected. Please correct the defect and re-file your request. (gk) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

#13

(#13) ORDER by Judge Andre Birotte Jr. Granting Application of Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J. Fluehr to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC, designating Steven T. Lowe as local counsel #11 . (gk) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

#12

(#12) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening), #1 filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Lowe, Steven) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

11 #3

Proposed Order

11 #2

Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - NJ

11 #1

Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - PA

11 #11

Main Document

#10

(#10) RESPONSE BY THE COURT TO NOTICE TO FILER OF DEFICIENCIES IN ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOCUMENTS by Clerk RE: Pro Hac Vice Application filed 3/7/2022 #7 . The document is stricken. (gk) (Entered: 03/09/2022)

7 #2

Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing

7 #1

Proposed Order Proposed Order

7 #7

Main Document

1 #4

Notice of Lodging

1 #3

Notice of Interested Parties

1 #2

Report Regarding Filing an Action on a Copyright

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #1

Main Document

13 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 04/04/2022
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  • Docket(#16) 21-Day Summons Issued re Complaint #1 as to Defendants Samuel Smith, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Stargate, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, James John Napier, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Operations Limited, UMG Recordings Inc., Sony Music Group, Sony Corporation of America, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Songs LLC, EMI Music Publishing LTD, EMI April Music Inc., EMI Blackwood Music Inc., Downtown Music Publishing LLC, Salli Isaak Songs LTD, Naughty Words Limited, Songs of NKH, Stellar Songs Limited, Stellar Songs, Tim & Danny Music LLC, 45th & 3rd Music LLC. (gk) (Entered: 04/04/2022)

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  • 03/31/2022
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  • Docket(#15) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening), #1 filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Fluehr, Alfred) (Entered: 03/31/2022)

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  • 03/24/2022
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  • Docket(#14) NOTICE OF DEFICIENCIES in Request to Issue Summons RE: Complaint #1 . The following error(s) was found: The phrase "et. al," should not be used on the Summons form. In its place, the filer should insert at least one party's name in the space available, and then indicate, "(See Attached)." The Summons should be directed to at least one defendant in the section that begins, "To: (Defendant's name and address)," before indicating, "See attached." Separate attachments should clearly identify which sections of the summons the attachments belong to. The summons cannot be issued until this defect has been corrected. Please correct the defect and re-file your request. (gk) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

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  • 03/23/2022
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  • Docket(#13) ORDER by Judge Andre Birotte Jr. Granting Application of Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J. Fluehr to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC, designating Steven T. Lowe as local counsel #11 . (gk) (Entered: 03/24/2022)

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  • 03/23/2022
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  • Docket(#12) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening), #1 filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Lowe, Steven) (Entered: 03/23/2022)

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  • 03/18/2022
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  • Docket(#11) APPLICATION of Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J. Fluehr to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC (Pro Hac Vice Fee - $500 Fee Paid, Receipt No. ACACDC-32974414) filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - PA, #2 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing - NJ, #3 Proposed Order) (Lowe, Steven) (Entered: 03/18/2022)

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  • 03/09/2022
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  • Docket(#10) RESPONSE BY THE COURT TO NOTICE TO FILER OF DEFICIENCIES IN ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOCUMENTS by Clerk RE: Pro Hac Vice Application filed 3/7/2022 #7 . The document is stricken. (gk) (Entered: 03/09/2022)

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  • 03/08/2022
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  • Docket(#9) NOTICE of Deficiency in Electronically Filed Pro Hac Vice Application RE: First APPLICATION of Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J. Fluehr to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC (Pro Hac Vice Fee - $500 Fee Paid, Receipt No. ACACDC-32900738) #7 . The following error(s) was/were found: Local Rule 5-4.3.4 Application not hand-signed. Local Rule 83-2.1.3.3(d) Certificate of Good Standing not attached for every state court listed to which the applicant has been admitted. Other error(s) with document(s): The attorney seeking to appear pro hac vice must complete Section I of this Application, personally sign, in ink, the certification in Section II, and have the designated Local Counsel sign in Section III. ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES ARE NOT ACCEPTED. See Instructions for Applicants (1). NJ missing. (lt) (Entered: 03/08/2022)

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  • 03/08/2022
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  • Docket(#8) STANDING ORDER upon filing of the complaint by Judge Andre Birotte Jr. (cb) (Entered: 03/08/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#7) [DOCUMENT STRICKEN PER RESPONSE BY THE COURT TO NOTICE TO FILER OF DEFICIENCIES IN ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOCUMENTS ON 3/9/2022, SEE DOCKET NO. 10] First APPLICATION of Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J. Fluehr to Appear Pro Hac Vice on behalf of Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC (Pro Hac Vice Fee - $500 Fee Paid, Receipt No. ACACDC-32900738) filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Order Proposed Order, #2 Exhibit Certificate of Good Standing) (Lowe, Steven) Modified on 3/9/2022 (gk). (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#6) NOTICE OF PRO HAC VICE APPLICATION DUE for Non-Resident Attorney Alfred J Fluehr. A document recently filed in this case lists you as an out-of-state attorney of record. However, the Court has not been able to locate any record that you are admitted to the Bar of this Court, and you have not filed an application to appear Pro Hac Vice in this case. Accordingly, within 5 business days of the date of this notice, you must either (1) have your local counsel file an application to appear Pro Hac Vice (Form G-64) and pay the applicable fee, or (2) complete the next section of this form and return it to the court at cacd_attyadm@cacd.uscourts.gov. You have been removed as counsel of record from the docket in this case, and you will not be added back to the docket until your Pro Hac Vice status has been resolved. (rolm) (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#5) NOTICE OF DEFICIENCIES in Attorney Case Opening RE: Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening), #1 . The following error(s) was found: Attachments 1-1 Civil Cover Sheet, 1-2 Report Regarding Filing an Action on a Copyright, 1-3 Notice of Interested Parties, and 1-4 Notice of Lodging should not have been attached to Docket Entry No. 1. Each document should have been filed separately. You are not required to take any action to correct this deficiency unless the Court so directs. (rolm) (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#4) Notice to Counsel Re Consent to Proceed Before a United States Magistrate Judge. (rolm) (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#3) NOTICE TO PARTIES OF COURT-DIRECTED ADR PROGRAM filed. (rolm) (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/07/2022
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  • Docket(#2) NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT to District Judge Andre Birotte Jr and Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar. (rolm) (Entered: 03/07/2022)

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  • 03/04/2022
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Receipt No: ACACDC-32897376 - Fee: $402, filed by Plaintiff Sound and Color, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Report Regarding Filing an Action on a Copyright, #3 Notice of Interested Parties, #4 Notice of Lodging) (Attorney Steven T. Lowe added to party Sound and Color, LLC(pty:pla))(Lowe, Steven) (Entered: 03/04/2022)

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