Shakira’s Loca not plagiarized

NEW YORK: A case in which pop star Shakira’s 2010 hit single Loca was found to be an illegal copy of a Dominican songwriter’s work came crashing down on August 10 when a US judge said the songwriter had lied to the court and the cassette tape on which his claims were based is a fake.

“(T)here was a basic issue of fraud in the trial,” said US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan, dismissing the copyright infringement case against Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos.

Last August, Hellerstein ruled that Shakira’s Spanish-language chart topper, and another song by a Dominican rapper known as El Cata, illegally ripped off a recording by Ramon Arias Vasquez called Loca con su Tiguere.

The judge found the Sony (6758.T) units liable for distributing the infringing songs. Shakira reached the top of the Latin Billboard charts with Loca, reportedly selling more than five million copies worldwide.

New York-based Mayimba Music, which owns the rights to Arias’ work, sued Sony in 2012.

On August 10, Hellerstein said new Sony evidence offered “competent and substantial proof” that the cassette on which Arias allegedly recorded the song, which had been used to register a US copyright, was not made in 1998 as claimed. As a result, he said, the copyright is invalid.