Jobim Family Launches Royalties Lawsuit

The family of the late legendary Brazilian bossa nova guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim has filed a breach of contract and royalties lawsuit alleging that the rights to many of his famous songs have been

The family of the late legendary Brazilian bossa nova guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim has filed a breach of contract and royalties lawsuit alleging that the rights to many of his famous songs have been wrongly assigned to those who translated them into English.

Lawyers for the widow and three children of Jobim, whose songs include the '60s classic "The Girl From Ipanema," called the practice a "remarkable display of hubris and overreaching."

The lawsuit, filed this week in federal court in New York, alleges breach of contract and nonpayment of royalties by Universal Studios and Universal Music Publishing Group. Universal could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Jobim, who died in 1994, is regarded as one of the leading exponents of the lyrical bossa nova style and an influential songwriter in his own right. In addition to "The Girl From Ipanema," he wrote or co-wrote "How Insensitive," "Meditation" and dozens of other songs.

The lawsuit alleges that worldwide copyrights to many of Jobim's compositions were fraudulently assigned after his death to the man who translated the original Portuguese lyrics into English. It said Universal Studios and its publishing groups had never owned the copyright to the songs and no right to allocate the rights to anyone else.

The family wants the copyrights back, along with unspecified damages.

"The Jobims obviously take quite seriously both the legacy and the rights of Antonio Carlo Jobim. They did not embark on this course lightly and are fully confident their position will be vindicated," the family's lawyer, John Rosenberg, said.

Universal Studios is now part of NBC Universal, controlled by General Electric and Universal Music Group is owned by Vivendi Universal.


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