In the $15 million lawsuit filed in October, Yellowcard accused Juice WLRD’s Sting-sampling single of using the melody of the band’s 2006 song “Holly Wood Died” “in a manner that is easily recognizable to the ordinary observer.” “Lucid Dreams” is “not only substantially similar to [‘Holly Wood Died’], but in some places virtually identical,” Yellowcard’s lawyer Richard Busch — who also represented the Marvin Gaye estate in the “Blurred Lines” case — said at the time.
In a legal notice filed one day after Juice WRLD’s death at the age of 21, Yellowcard — who released “Holly Wood Died” when the rapper was eight years old — made clear their intention to pursue the legal matter by extending a deadline for defendants to respond to the lawsuits from December 9th until February 4th, 2020. Busch did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
“First of all, we were as shocked and saddened by Juice WRLD’s death as everyone else. It is a tragic loss to his family, his fans, and to the music world at large, and we understand why people may be confused about the decision to continue with this lawsuit,” Busch’s King & Fallow law firm said in a statement to Billboard Wednesday following news of Yellowcard’s plan to proceed with the lawsuit. “My clients are certainly torn about proceeding, and understand the optics involved. But it is important to remember that this lawsuit was filed before this tragic event, and was filed because all of the defendants (and there are two other writers and several music publishers and record labels), profited off of what we believe was clear copying and infringement of Yellowcard’s work.”
King & Fallow continued, “So while they are absolutely aware of how this may be perceived, and truly have incredible mixed emotions, the question is whether it is fair that all of those many parties profited, and will continue to profit, off of what my client’s believe strongly was their work.”
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The law firm added that the $15 million figure attached to the lawsuit was “falsely reported” and that Yellowcard “are simply seeking what the law allows, and what parties in their position have sought in similar cases, which at this point is not determined.”