A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit that claimed former television host/musician John Tesh based a song on a Sept. 11 poem written by a Missouri woman.

A settlement has been reached in a federal lawsuit that claimed former television host/musician John Tesh based a song on a Sept. 11 poem written by a Missouri woman. Stacey Randall filed a copyright infringement lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Nashville. She named Tesh as a defendant along with his Louisville, Ky.-based Internet service provider, MaximumASP.

Randall said she wrote "Met in the Stairwell" five days after the terrorist attacks. It describes the airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center from God's point of view. Randall said she posted the poem on her family's Web site. A few people copied it and sent it to friends, and soon it was crisscrossing cyberspace, often as an e-mail attachment without credit for its author.

Tesh was one of its recipients. The 50-year-old was moved by the images, such as a doomed father calling home from the burning 110th floor, to set it to music.

Randall's attorneys contend she had copyrighted her work. When Randall learned last August that Tesh was performing a shortened yet nearly verbatim version called "God in the Stairwell," she began legal action.

Tesh originally offered royalties in a settlement, court records show, but Randall turned them down. He acknowledged he "received a copy of the Poem in one of the uncredited e-mails and was moved to write about it," the lawsuit states.


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