Yellowcard Ends Copyright Lawsuit Against Juice WRLD

Juice Wrld
Steve Jennings/FilmMagic

Juice Wrld performs at the 2019 Rolling Loud Music Festival on Day 2 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sept. 29, 2019 in Oakland, Calif.

The band believes Juice WRLD’s "Lucid Dreams" contains "melodic elements" of one of their songs but felt uncomfortable suing the late rapper's mother.

Yellowcard have dismissed their lawsuit against late rapper Juice WRLD (a.k.a. Jarad Higgins) over his 2018 hit "Lucid Dreams." The pop-rock band filed a federal copyright infringement case against Higgins last October alleging that he lifted "melodic elements" of its 2006 song "Holly Wood Died" for his 2018 hit "Lucid Dreams" without permission.

On July 24th, the band asked the court to voluntarily dismiss the entire $15 million copyright infringement lawsuit.

Yellowcard's attorney Richard Busch says the band decided not to move forward with the case at this time, but still retains the right to refile at a later date.

"My clients really were uncomfortable about pursuing this action against Juice WRLD's grieving mother as the representative of his Estate," says Busch. "As they said previously, they also are incredibly sympathetic about his death, and were torn initially about pursuing this in light of his death. As a result of all that has happened, they simply need additional time to decide what they want to do."

In February, Juice WRLD's attorney Mark Humphrey requested and was granted a stay of the case until an administrator could be appointed for Juice WRLD's estate, arguing that proceeding would create an "evidentiary hole" for the copyright infringement case's other defendants, given that the case is "largely, if not entirely, centered around Mr. Higgins's actions and knowledge." The judge overseeing the case also asked both sides to meet in the interim to discuss a possible settlement of the case.

In addition to $15 million in damages, the now-defunct Yellowcard -- which consists of band members William Ryan KeyPeter Michael MoselyLongineu Warren Parsons and Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin -- was seeking a running royalty and/or ownership share of "Lucid Dreams" or, alternatively, statutory damages for each act of infringement and for all defendants to be permanently enjoined from exploiting the track going forward. At the time the complaint was filed, they were also seeking damages from Juice WRLD's concert tours and other public appearances, arguing that the "overwhelming success" of the song launched his career.

The other defendants named in the case include "Lucid Dreams" co-writer Taz Taylor (a.k.a. Danny Lee Snodgrass Jr.), along with his publishers Taz Taylor Beats, Artist 101 Publishing Group and publishing administrator Kobalt Music Services; producer Nicholas Mira, along with his publishers Nick Mira Publishing, Electric Feel Music and publishing administrator Songs of Universal; "Lucid Dreams" publisher BMG Rights Management; record label Grade A Productions; and Grade A's parent company, Interscope Records.

"Defendants were fully prepared to defend against the allegations -viewed as without merit- and remain so prepared should it become necessary," says attorney Christine Lepera. "There was no settlement or consideration whatsoever for Plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal."

Juice WRLD suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest in a terminal at Chicago's Midway Airport on Dec. 8 while law enforcement were searching his Gulfstream jet for firearms and narcotics. He subsequently died at a local hospital at age 21; the cause was later determined to be an accidental drug overdose.

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