- A songwriter is suing Mariah Carey for copyright infringement over ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’.
- Songwriter Andy Stone says he released a song of the same name five years earlier.
- Song titles are generally not protected by copyright laws.
A Mississippi songwriter has sued pop star Mariah Carey over her 1994 Christmas hit, ‘All I Want for Christmas is You,’ claiming he had released a song with the same title five years earlier, according to reports. court records.
Songwriter, Andy Stone, of Vince Vance & the Valiants, alleged in a civil lawsuit that Carey and Sony Music Entertainment “never sought or obtained permission” from Stone to use the track. He also accused Carey and Sony Music Entertainment of “knowingly, willfully and intentionally” infringing on his work.
Stone filed his lawsuit in federal court in Louisiana. The complaint did not specify when Stone learned of Carey’s version of the song, which resurfaces every holiday season and has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for the past three years.
The lawsuit said Stone at some point “became aware” of Carey’s “use of his work” and retained attorneys who contacted the defendants in April 2021.
Sony Music Entertainment, owner of the label that represented Carey at the time of the song’s release, did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
It’s unclear how successful Stone’s litigation will be. Song titles are generally not protected by copyright laws, and it is very common for several songs by different artists to share the same name.
For example, the title “All I Want for Christmas is You” is shared by dozens of other songs and musical compositions listed in the US Copyright Office’s public catalog.
Stone’s lawsuit alleged no other similarities between his songs and those of Carey beyond the titles. The lyrics of both songs, while thematically similar, only share the main chorus, “all I want for Christmas is you”.
As Insider’s Debanjali Rose reported last year, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is one of Carey’s most famous, beloved and critically acclaimed hits, and he has grossed over $60 million in royalties since its release nearly three decades ago.