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Lil Wayne Sued By Rolling Stones' Publishers For "Playing With Fire"

July 25, 2008 8:58 AM ET

Lil Wayne has been sued by the music publishing company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones' "Play With Fire," as the company says Wayne's "Playing With Fire," off Tha Carter III, infringes on the song's copyright and poses unfair competition. Abkco alleges that the Wayne's song is an altered version of the Stones' 1965 hit, saying the original song and music had been used in a recognizable way with permission. The lawsuit cites lyrical comparisons like the Stones' original chorus "But don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire," and Wayne's line "But you can't blame me if I set this stage on fire." In the lawsuit, Abkco says that the public might assume the Rolling Stones approve of Wayne's uses "explicit, sexist and offensive language." Abkco is seeking unspecified damages, but if this case goes down anything like when the Verve got sued over that orchestral sample of "The Last Time" used in "Bittersweet Symphony," Wayne might be giving back a bunch of his TC3 royalties money.

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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