BRUSSELS (Reuters) — A Belgian songwriter has won a plagiarism case against Madonna with a ruling that will force the country’s radio stations to stop playing the star’s 1998 hit single “Frozen,” his lawyer said.
Salvatore Acquaviva won the case in a court in the Belgian town of Mons, where the judge ordered EMI, Sony, and Warner Music to get radio and television stations to stop playing the song, Victor-Vincent Dehin told Reuters.
The judge also ordered the three companies to get music stores across Belgium to stop selling not only the single but also “Ray of Light,” the album on which it appears, he said.
EMI, Sony, and Warner Music each face a fine of more than €100,000 ($118,000) if they fail to obey the order within 15 days, he added.
“We tried to reach a friendly agreement … but they didn’t want to negotiate so I sued for plagiarism,” Dehin said.
He said he would try to negotiate a financial compensation deal with the companies but was ready to go back to court if they refused. He declined to say how much money he was seeking.
“They have stolen a song, so they have to pay the value of the song,” he said.
Dehin said EMI, Sony, and Warner had the right to appeal, but the office of Fabienne Brison, the lawyer representing the companies, declined to comment.
Dehin said the judge’s order would stand until a decision came down from the appeals court.
Madonna’s spokeswoman, Barbara Charone, was unable to give an immediate reaction to the ruling.
Dehin said the judge had agreed with his client that Madonna had used four bars of Acquaviva’s song “Ma Vie Fout L’camp”, loosely translated in English as “My Life’s Getting Nowhere.”