Man Sues Bon Jovi, MLB, Others For $400 Billion Over Song He Claims Was Copied

from the idea-expression-dichotomy dept

We see stories all the time of people who write a story or a script and then when they see someone else has success with a similar idea, they assume that it was “stolen” and they’re owed millions. Or, as the case may be, billions. A Red Sox fan named Samuel Bartley Steele, who apparently wrote a song called “(Man I Really) Love this Team,” in 2004 got upset when he saw singer Bon Jovi release a song “I Love This Town” which was then used by Major League Baseball to promote the playoffs in 2007. He claims that he gave copies of the song to Red Sox execs, Red Sox players and MLB execs — and thus Bon Jovi’s song must have stolen from Steele’s song. Of course, the two songs are apparently entirely different — and even Steele’s own musicologist testified that the songs were different. The district court tossed out the case, noting that no reasonable jury would find a similarity, but the guy has appealed and is asking for $400 billion, yes, with a b. If he won that much, perhaps he could donate some to the team to pick up a free agent outfielder or two this off-season, but I imagine that this case won’t last very long.

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Comments on “Man Sues Bon Jovi, MLB, Others For $400 Billion Over Song He Claims Was Copied”

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WisconsinGod (user link) says:

Re: US Debt

To clarify $400 billion is only about 3.4 percent of the US Debt (currently at 11.9 Trillion, with a T)

400 Billion is closer to the INTEREST we pay on the debt

400 Billion is about half of what the IRS pulls in on income taxes.

400 Billion is the TRADE Deficit of the US (Imports vs Exports)

Ok, just wanted to clarify, back to your on-topic discussion

Lennart Renkema (user link) says:

Surfthechannel vs Police

Court of Appeal

Published November 11, 2009

Scopelight Ltd and Others v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police and Another

Before Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Wilson and Lord Justice Leveson

Judgment November 5, 2009

The police could retain property they seized after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute but a private prosecution was being contemplated or taking place.

The Court of Appeal so stated when allowing the appeal of the defendants, the Chief Constable of Northumbria and the Federation against Copyright Theft, from a decision on a preliminary issue made by Mrs Justice Sharp ([2009] 2 Cr App R 365) at the commencement of civil proceedings in which the claimants, Scopelight Ltd, its directors, Anton Benjamin Vickerman and Kelly-Ann Vickerman, owners of a website called, sought to recover property including computers, servers, memory sticks and mobile phones, seized by the police pursuant to a warrant in the investigation of contemplated criminal proceedings.

The judge ruled that, under section 22 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, in the absence of continuing independent justification, the police were not entitled to retain property seized under that Act once a decision not to prosecute had been taken by the Crown Prosecution Service, so that a private body could consider whether to bring a prosecution, or while that private prosecution was being brought.

John85851 (profile) says:

Does this guy have an attorney?

Here’s the main question: is this guy filing the lawsuit himself or does he have an attorney?
If he has an attorney, who in their right mind would think about asking for $400 billion in damages? Or did the attorney start drooling, thinking about his 50% cut of winning $200 billion? The bar association should disbar the attorney on those grounds alone!

But, again, the larger question is: who are these attorneys that are telling their clients to sue for billions in damages? Who are these attorneys that are telling clients that they even have a case like this?
Shouldn’t a competent attorney realize the songs are different and not take the case? Or did the guy shop around until he finally found an attorney willing to take the case… for 50% of the $400 billion they thought they could win?

L J Wilson (user link) says:

Following this logic

Having listened to Mr. Steele’s song “(Man I really) Love this team” and following Mr. Steele’s own logic, would lead one to believe that Mr. Bon Jovi himself would stand a much better chance at suing Mr. Steele for copy right infringement of the Album and song “Keep The Faith” by Bon Jovi from 1994. I think that would make a much better frivolous lawsuit. I certainly holds more merit.

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