​Complaining Work

​Defending Work

Jon Dunmore, Mike Molina

"[I'd do] Anything for You"

Audio Recording

 

James Steinman

"I'd do Anything for Love"

Audio Recording

 

 

Comment by Charles Cronin

The complaint alleges direct and vicarious infringement by an impressive number of defendants (including “DOES 1 – 100”) who may have benefited from performances by “Meatloaf” of a 90’s hit with the spectacularly banal title “I’d Do Anything for Love.” The complaint’s musical basis for the claim is embarrassingly flimsy: “shared motif and chord progression.” Even if the songs did share a motif and chord progression, motifs and chord progressions, even combined, typically don’t constitute copyrightable expression.

The complaint is much clearer on the motivation for the allegation, devoting several pages to a detailed account of the financial success of the defendant’s song, from which the plaintiff would like to benefit. In an ill-advised effort to publicize its claim, and build public sympathy, Enclosed Music posted a YouTube clip containing portions of recordings of both songs. It asked viewers/listeners to post their opinions on musical similarity between the works, eliciting a flurry of incredulous and mocking reactions to the claim. A few choice (and printable) appropriately damning tidbits:

 

 

“Absolute joke. These songs sound nothing alike. Amazing how it’s taken 24 years for him to notice and that he managed to miss it when the song was number 1 all over the world. More a case of a failed songwriter trying to exploit money from a successful one out of pure desperation.”

“It's a case of trying to gain attention for a song and a music company. They succeeded. Had never heard of Enclosed Music LLC before this. Gets their name out there for what it's worth. Hopefully, this will get thrown out and they will go down in shame.”

“So, are you just trying to get an easy payday? Spoiler alert, it isn't going to happen. Transpose and slow down all you want. It is not the same. The fact that you have the audacity to put this out now is also a joke. You should really quit now before you put yourself in more debt with lawyer fees.”

“Yes, I listened and read. I also have a law degree with a concentration in Copyright and Intellectual Property law from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in NYC as well as having been a guitarist and a platinum album recipient recording engineer who worked at the NYC Record Plant. You wouldn't want me on the jury or testifying as an expert at this trial. Tell Jon to tuck his tail between his legs and go back into the obscurity that he deserves. Oh and by the way, you're a disgrace to the legal community for even taking this case. Shyster. You give hard working, honest attorneys a bad reputation. Hope you get fined heavily for filing this frivolous suit. And it doesn't matter whether I'm a Meat Loaf fan or not. I have musical and legal training and can hear. Idiots.”

 

The YouTube clip wraps up informing us the plaintiff now works as an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles. [School teachers don't earn much, and Los Angeles is an expensive city...]

 

      

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Complaint (PDF)