And finally Artist News Legal notices
By Andy Malt | Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2020
Hey, Billy Joel is caught in a complicated copyright lawsuit! How funny! But what could have happened? Did he steal someone’s song? Did he have a song stolen by a pesky upstart pop star? Did he use artwork on an album cover without permission? I bet a hip hop joker group tried to sample their music without permission!
No, none of that. This trial, in fact, has nothing to do with his music. He is accused of stealing drawings for the renovations he is doing in his house.
Berry Hill Development says Joel and his wife Alexis fired the company from a home improvement project on a Long Island property. But then the replacement company NJ Caine Architecture and its owner Neal Stufano submitted new plans for the renovation that were almost identical to those Berry Hill had originally drawn up for the project.
“The plans for the main house in Stufano are almost identical to the plans, drawings, interior layout, massing and general appearance of the works and plans provided by Berry Hill for and in connection with the project,” says Berry Hill’s lawsuit, according to law 360. “The defendants continue to renovate the premises on the site using the works and plans belonging to Berry Hill, without the approval, license or permission of Berry Hill to do so.”
Berry Hill also said he was fired from the Joels property renovation project for false structural issues, arguing that he had not had time to access and correct those issues – despite a clause of his contract allowing it. He also claims that the report cited as the reason for his dismissal was dated nine days after his dismissal.
And on the intellectual property dispute, Berry Hill says that after being fired in November last year, he officially told the local building inspector and the company the Joels own theirs through. house, F Scott, that they no longer had permission to use his designs.
After that, however, these new designs were submitted which allegedly violated his original work. Berry Hill says he then sent a cease-and-desist letter in March, which went unanswered, hence the need for a full-scale legal action.
Berry Hill is asking the court for confirmation that his designs were forged as well as damages for the infringement. Neither the Joels, nor any of the other defendants listed, have commented yet. Maybe Berry Hill could just use one of Joel’s songs in an advertisement without permission. Vigilant justice of the copyright infringement genre!