Published Oct 27, 2011Just the other day we learned that '80s metal act Poison were being sued over allegations of song theft, and considering it took over 20 years for the plaintiffs to file suit, it's unsurprising that the band are categorically denying the case.
In a statement submitted to the Hollywood Reporter, Poison's lawyer Mark D. Passin said that Billy McCarthy and James Stonich's allegations that C.C. DeVille stole four songs from their old group Kid Rocker after auditioning for the Chicago-based band in 1984 are baseless and have no merit.
"Poison will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint," Passin said. "Obviously, if the Poison songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by Plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich, they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago when Poison released the albums on which the songs are embodied. It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits."
As previously reported, the oddness of the case stems from the fact that the songs in question ("Talk Dirty to Me," "I Won't Forget You," "Fallen Angel" and "Ride the Wind") were spread throughout Poison albums between 1987 and 1991, calling into question why it took so long for the lawsuit to get filed.
The plaintiffs' lawyer, Daniel Voelker, points to 1983's Taylor v. Meirick, a 1983 decision at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the U.S. that insisted "the statute of limitations does not begin to run on a continuing wrong till the wrong is over and done with." Plaintiffs could therefore "reach back and get damages for the entire duration of the alleged violation."
In other words, until Poison stops performing the songs or collecting royalty cheques, McCarthy and Stonich want their alleged fair share.
Passing countered this by citing subsequent decisions, explaining, "Taylor v. Meirick does not entitle a plaintiff to reach back and get damages beyond three years if, for example, the plaintiff knew or with the exercise of reasonable diligence would have known of the wrongful act."