Hobbs v. John, No. 12 C 3117, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 19, 2012) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve denied a Fed. R. Civ. P. 24 motion to intervene by Romano in this copyright case.  Plaintiff alleges that he wrote the lyrics to “Natasha” and that defendant Big Pig took the lyrics and substantially reproduced them in Elton John’s song “Nikita.”  Romano sought to intervene alleging that Hobbs’ lyrics were in his diary which was allegedly stolen by Elton John.  Romano did not have a right to intervene pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2) because he did not show a direct significant and legally protectable interest in the litigation.  Romano did not claim that he held a copyright in Natasha, just that his diary containing the lyrics was stolen.

And Romano’s motion did not meet Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b) standards for permissive joinder either.  The alleged theft of the diary was not related to the alleged copyright infringement.