According to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone, plaintiff Andy Stone filed to dismiss his case against Carey “in its entirety, without prejudice” (meaning the case can be brought again). The documents were fittingly filed on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the day after Halloween, which everyone on the internet — including Carey — has deemed the official start of “All I Want for Christmas” season.
Lawyers for Stone and Sony Music did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comments, nor did a rep for Carey.
Stone filed his lawsuit in New Orleans federal court back in June, claiming that he wrote, recorded, and released a different song titled “All I Want for Christmas Is You” under the name Vince Vance and the Valiants in 1989. Stone accused Carey and co-writer Walter Afanasieff of creating a “derivative” version of his song without permission when they set about making the 1994 smash.
Unlike many notable copyright infringement cases, however, Stone’s didn’t hinge on alleged similarities between the two songs, which neither sound alike, nor share similar lyrics. Instead, this case centered only around the matching titles, with Stone asserting that because his song predated Carey’s, he should have the copyright on subsequent works bearing that title. Stone also argued that Carey and her co-writer would’ve been aware of Stone’s song because it received “extensive airplay” during the 1993 Christmas season.
While Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been a holiday staple pretty much ever since it was released, Stone’s lawyers didn’t reach out to Carey’s legal team until April 2021. A cease and desist letter followed and was ignored. Stone was seeking some extensive damages no less than $20 million.
As was noted at the time, it was always unlikely that Stone was going to find much purchase with his lawsuit. In fact, there are 177 copyrighted songs with the title “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” including many that were written before the Vince Vance and the Valiants version.