Justin Moore ‘Backwoods’ Lawsuit: Songwriters Claim Copyright Infringement
Tennessee songwriter Bobby Carmichael and Louisiana fiddler Britton Curry have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against country singer Justin Moore and his record company, Big Machine Label Group, the Tennessean reports. The suit centers on Justin’s hit “Backwoods,” which Carmichael and Curry claim sounds strikingly similar to a song they wrote back in 2003.
Released in 2009, “Backwoods” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It’s been downloaded more than 300,000 times, according to the Tennessean, but thus far, neither Carmichael nor Curry have earned a dime for the track. In paperwork filed with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, they’re seeking $150,000 apiece for each instance of infringement — an indefinite number, the news site points out.
In the suit, Carmichael says he gave Curry the rights to the tune in 2003, and that the composition was subsequently registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The pair tried selling the song in Nashville in 2005, and it was during this time, they allege, that songwriter and publisher Jamie Paulin — one of three men credited with writing “Backwoods” — “heard and/or secured the song.”
Moore, who along with producer Jeremy Stover is also listed as a co-writer, has yet to respond to the allegations. Carmichael’s lawyer, Ramona DeSalvo, has declined to elaborate on the case, which goes before Judge William Joseph Haynes on Oct. 1.
“The lawsuit speaks for itself,” DeSalvo said. “At this point, it is the only appropriate comment to make.”