Allen v. Destiny’s Child, No. 06 C 6606, Min. Order (N.D. Ill. Jul. 30, 2007) (Holderman, C.J.).*
Judge Holderman granted in part defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims. Plaintiff alleges that defendants, including the musical group Destiny’s Child and its members, infringed plaintiffs’ copyrights in his song “Cater 2 U” by producing and selling Destiny’s Child’s song of the same name (watch the video of Destiny’s Child’s version on their website). The Court dismissed the infringement claims regarding the two copyrights that plaintiff did not own, but allowed the claims as to plaintiff’s other two copyrights. Plaintiff’s allegations that he owned the two copyrights, provided copies of his performances of the song to various defendants who relayed them to Destiny’s Child and that the Destiny’s Child song is musically and lyrically similar were sufficient to meet the new Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss standard set forth in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1969 (2007) (read more about the decision at the University of Chicago Faculty Blog). The Court did, however, dismiss claims against defendant McDonald’s. McDonald’s was only charged with having received financial gain from the infringement because it sponsored a Destiny’s Child tour during which the song was performed. The Court quoted upon Twombly in explaining its decision:
The court is not convinced that [plaintiff] has “nudged [his] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.”
* You can read a copy of the Minute Order here.