Poison Sued for Alleged Plagiarism

Obscure band claims hair-metal rockers stole tunes

October 24, 2011 1:50 PM ET
Bret Michaels of Poison
Bret Michaels of Poison
Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Poison have been hit with a lawsuit from an obscure rock band who claim that the hair-metal icons plagiarized a handful of their songs over 20 years ago. The suit, filed by members of the band Kid Rocker in Illinois federal court on Wednesday, alleges that several of their songs were the basis for Poison hits such as "Talk Dirty to Me," "Fallen Angel" and "I Won't Forget You."

According to Kid Rocker members Billy McCarthy and James Stonich, Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille acquire a tape of the band's songs when he tried out for their group in 1984. Kid Rocker disbanded later that year, but McCarthy says that he presented songs for DeVille's use as a member of another band, Screamin' Mimis.

Photos: Random Notes
McCarthy and Stonich are now suing members of Poison, as well as Capitol Records and EMI, for copyright infringement. It's unclear why the musicians waited 25 years to pursue a lawsuit, particularly when the three-year statute of limitations in copyright cases has long since expired. Daniel Voelker, the plaintiffs' attorney, tells the Hollywood Reporter that there is precedent in the case Taylor v. Meirick for "continuing wrong" in copyright theft, though many courts have rejected this theory in the past.

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