U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in a ruling in
Manhattan federal court on Tuesday said Shakira’s
Spanish-language single “Loca" infringed on the work of Ramon
Arias Vasquez, who wrote “Loca con su Tiguere” in the late
Hellerstein dismissed claims that Shakira's English version of
the track infringed, citing a lack of evidence.
The ruling is a victory for the plaintiff, Mayimba Music, which
holds the rights to Arias's work and which sued Sony Corp of
America and several other Sony units in 2012.
The judge found only two of them liable, Sony/ATV Latin and
Sony/ATV Discos, for distributing Shakira’s song.
An attorney for Sony declined to comment. An attorney for
Mayimba could not immediately be reached.
Shakira reached the top of the Latin Billboard charts with "Loca,"
reportedly selling more than five million copies of the single
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Hellerstein said Shakira's single was based on a 2007 song by
Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou, better known as El Cata,
which also copied Arias and was distributed by Sony.
The ruling said Arias's song, and the subsequent copies, revolve
around a love triangle in which the singers are poor and the
opposing suitors are rich, a theme expressed in Arias's title.
Shakira's version uses the word "tigre" (tiger) instead of "tiguere,"
which is Dominican slang, but Hellerstein said the meaning was the
The next phase of the case will be to determine Mayimba's damages
and a permanent injunction requested by the company against Sony.
The case is Mayimba Music, Inc v. Sony Corp of America, Sony Music
Entertainment, Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC, Sony/ATV Discos
Music Publishing LLC, and Sony/ATV Tunes LLC in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 12-cv-1094.
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