A Philadelphia songwriter has been awarded a whopping $44-million settlement after a seven-year legal battle over one of the songs on Usher’s 2004 album Confessions.
As reported by Associated Press, a jury awarded Daniel Marino $44.35 million in damages stemming from his lawsuit, which targeted the co-writers of “Bad Girls” (Usher was not named in the suit).
That sum is comprised of: $6.75 in compensatory damages and an additional $20.25 million in punitive damages to be paid to Marino by his former co-writer William Guice; and $17.35 million to be paid by Destro Music Productions, co-owned by co-defendant Dante Barton.
In his lawsuit, Marino claimed that he created the lion’s share of “Bad Girl” — which was originally called “Club Girl” — including the guitar hook, the chord progression and the tempo. He is not listed among the writing credits on the album.
As the Daily Mail reports, Marino was represented by attorney Francis Malofiy, who is currently working on a similar case involving Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven”, which Malofiy alleges was lifted from the 1968 track “Taurus”, recorded by Spirit.
“The big thing in all these music cases, and I represent the creatives, is giving credit where credit is due, and that’s really what we fought for the hardest,” said Malofiy. “We’re happy Marino got his day in court after seven years of litigation.”
According to Billboard, Confessions was of the best-selling albums of the decade, selling more than 10 million copies.