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Beyonce sues over “Feyonce” knockoffs

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NEW YORK — In her 2008 smash hit Single Ladies, Beyonce sang of telling jealous ex-boyfriend that if he had wanted to commit to their relationship, he should have ‘put a ring on it.’

Now Beyonce is telling a Texas company selling stuff online bearing the name “Feyonce” to put a lid on it.

Beyonce, one of the world’s most famous and influential pop stars, yesterday sued to stop the sale of dozens of shirts, sweaters, tank tops, hoodies and even coffee mugs bearing the ‘Feyonce’ name, which she calls too close to her own trademarked name.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Beyonce accused Feyonce Inc and three individuals, all from San Antonio, of ‘brazenly’ selling infringing ‘Feyonce’ merchandise at their website.

Among the items is a US$14.95 (RM58.94) mug with the phrase ‘he put a ring on it,’ which Beyonce said was intended to call to mind the lyrics of Single Ladies.

Beyonce, 34, who is married to rapper Jay Z and has won Grammy awards as a solo artist and with Destiny’s Child, said the sale of Feyonce knockoffs confuses consumers and causes her irreparable harm, and that the defendants have ignored her requests to stop.

She also said one defendant, Andre Maurice, has gone so far as to file two US trademark applications for ‘Feyonce,’ with and without the accent over the ‘e.’

“Defendants adopted the Feyonce mark to call to mind Beyonce and her famous song,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants’ conduct described herein is intentional, fraudulent, malicious, willful and wanton.”

Beyonce’s lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages.

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US judge dismisses Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ copyright lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing singer Taylor Swift of stealing lyrics for her song ‘Shake It Off’ on Tuesday ruling the phrases in question were not sufficiently original to merit copyright protection.

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler brought the suit last fall, arguing that the chorus of the song borrowed from their 2001 composition, ‘Playas Gon’ Play’.

In his ruling, Judge Michael W Fitzgerald held that combining the phrases, ‘Playas gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate,’ does not entail sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection, Variety reported.

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Swift’s 2014 song reached No 1 on the pop charts and marked her evolution from country to pop music.

Swift’s lyrics from the chorus of ‘Shake It Off’ are, ‘the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.’

Attorneys for Swift asked US District Judge Michael Fitzgerald in January to dismiss the case.

“In order for such short phrases to be protected under the Copyright Act, they must be more creative than the lyrics at issue here,” Fitzgerald ruled, according to court papers.

The songwriters who sued Swift did not allege Swift’s song stole musical elements, the judge said, and phrases about players and haters existed in pop culture before 2001.

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