Mariah Carey sued for ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by songwriter – Deadline
One of the most popular holiday songs of all time is being legally challenged by a country music songwriter claiming copyright infringement on “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Mariah Carey and co-writer Walter Afansieff are named in the lawsuit brought by songwriter Andy Stone, who claims his 1989 Vince Vance & the Valiants “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is infringed. Stone filed his paperwork with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Although the songs have the same title, there is only a hint of melody or lyrics by Carey beyond the title call.
Carey’s title song was released in 1994 and became a holiday staple on radio and on the annual NBA Christmas Day game slate.
Stone claims his song was widely released during the 1993 holiday season. He is seeking $20 million in damages. Stone claims that Carey and Afansieff “intentionally engaged in a campaign to infringe” his copyright in the work.
The country songwriter faces an uphill battle to prove his claims.
Pamela Koslyn, a Los Angeles lawyer specializing in music and intellectual property rights, noted that there are 177 works, many of which are musical compositions, with “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as the title.
Koslyn noted that she would have a different response if all the lyrics were “substantially similar” to Carey’s version.
“Song titles are not eligible for copyright protection,” Koslyn added. “That’s why there are 177 works with the same title. An even more popular title is “My Baby”, which has 4860 works registered with the Copyright Office. And that’s not even counting common law (unregistered) works using the same title.
Carey’s version of the song has over a billion streams on Spotify alone. Last year, it became the first song to hit No. 1 in three separate runs on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.