Shakira Hit Song Loca Broke Copyright Laws
A judge has ruled that one of Shakira's hit songs copied the work of a Dominican songwriter.
US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the Colombian pop star's 2010 Spanish-language single Loca infringed on Ramon 'Arias' Vasquez's song Loca Con Su Tiguere, which was released in the late 1990s.
Mr Hellerstein dismissed claims that Shakira's English version of the track also infringed, citing a lack of evidence during the hearing in Manhattan.
The single, which featured Dizzee Rascal, was not released as a single in the UK.
The judge said Shakira's single was based on a 2007 song by Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin 'Bello' Pou, better known as El Cata, which also copied Arias and was distributed by Sony.
The ruling is a victory for Mayimba Music, which holds the rights to Arias's work and which sued Sony Corp of America and several other Sony units in 2012.
The judge found only two of them liable, Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos, for distributing Shakira's song.
Shakira reached the top of the Latin Billboard charts with Loca, reportedly selling more than five million copies of the single worldwide.
"There is no dispute that Shakira's version of the song was based on Bello's version," wrote the judge. "Accordingly, I find that, since Bello had copied Arias, whoever wrote Shakira's version of the song also indirectly copied Arias."
The next phase of the case will be to determine Mayimba's damages and a permanent injunction requested by the company against Sony.