Yellowcard’s Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit Against Juice Wrld Delayed by Judge

Juice WRLD - Jarad HigginsWireless Festival,
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Yellowcard’s lawsuit against Juice Wrld, which alleges that the rapper’s song “Lucid Dreams” infringed on its 2006 song “Holly Wood Died,” has been stayed by United States District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall.

According to Pitchfork, which cited legal documents, Marshall ordered a stay until a representative for Juice Wrld’s estate could be appointed.

Yellowcard filed a $15 million lawsuit in October against the rapper, co-writer Taz Taylor, producer Nick Mira and their publishers. However, Juice Wrld died on Dec. 8, at the age of just 21. Last month, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of his cause of death to be an accidental overdose, determining that he “died as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.”

The day after his death, Yellowcard extended the deadline for defendants to respond to the lawsuits from that day, Dec. 9, until Feb. 4. Marshall has set a deadline of April 13 for a status update on the probate proceedings, according to the documents.

Parties named in the suit also include publisher BMG Rights Management, the Grade A Productions record label, Interscope Records and others.

Cited in the lawsuit is an interview where Juice Wrld (who was born Jarad Higgins) talks about the influence of Fall Out Boy’s 2005 album “From Under the Cork Tree,” which was produced by Neal Avron, who also produced “Holly Wood Died.”

“Lucid Dreams” samples Sting’s “Shape of My Heart,” which is credited, but the lawsuit claims that “Holly Wood Died” is used in a similar manner and the rapper chose “to willfully infringe the original work.”

“This was not a lawsuit the guys wanted to file,” said Richard Busch, an attorney for Yellowcard, who saw a huge copyright-infringement victory in 2015 when he represented the Marvin Gaye estate in the “Blurred Lines” case. “They put all of the parties on notice to try to resolve it. That notice was pretty much ignored leaving them with no real choice. As alleged in the complaint, this is not just a generic emo rap song, but is a blatant copy of significant original compositional elements of ‘Holly Wood Died’ in several respects. Beyond that, everything we have to say is in the complaint.”

Originally released on SoundCloud in June of 2017, “Lucid Dreams” was officially released nearly a year later on Juice World’s debut album “Goodbye & Good Riddance.”