“Bailando,” the smash hit recorded by Enrique Iglesias and featuring Descemer Bueno and Cuban duo Gente D’ Zona, is the subject of a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement.
Cristian Mauricio Escuti and German Schulz, who both live in South Florida, allege in a suit filed Jan. 26 in U.S. District Court in Miami that “Bailando” rips off their original song, “Quiero Bailar Contigo.”
Escuti and Schulz say they recorded their track on or about May, 2009. Escuti and Schulz didn’t register copyright of the song until five years later, in April 2014, when “Bailando” was released, and well on its way to becoming a major hit.
The suit states that the pair submitted a recording of their song to Sony/ATV in 2012, but never heard back. Now, they’re alleging infringement of copyright and are seeking damages and profits gained from “Bailando.”
William Trueba of Miami law firm Espinosa|Trueba, is representing the plaintiffs, and said their song “Quiero Bailar Contigo” would be released to the public “soon.”
Billboard has not heard the song, but, says Trueba, “The chorus line in our clients’ song is very similar to the chorus in ‘Bailando.’ The music and lyrics are similar.”
Iglesias and Bueno have spoken extensively on how “Bailando” was conceived and recorded. During the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami last April, Iglesias said he originally wrote the track a year earlier with Bueno, his longtime collaborator, then shelved it. More than six months later, he heard a version Bueno had recorded in Cuba with Gente De Zona.
“I went to YouTube to find this song and I said, ‘Holy shit, I wrote it!'” said Iglesias at the Billboard Latin Music conference. “So I listened to the song with Gente De Zona, and I start going nuts with them.”
“Enrique and I worked on the song and kind of left it there,” said Bueno during the same conference. “Then I met up with Gente De Zona in Havana, and they added the ‘I wanna be contigo’ bridge and the ‘Oh, oh, oh.’ That’s the new version Enrique heard. And really, it added and important and energetic element to the song.”
“Bailando” has now spent 39 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, becoming the longest-running song, by far, to hold that position in the history of the chart.