NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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 Monday when a U.S. judge said the songwriter had lied to the court and the cassette tape on which his claims were based is a fake.
“ here was a basic issue of fraud in the trial,” said U.S. 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 units liable for distributing the infringing songs.
New York-based Mayimba Music, which owns the rights to Arias’ work, sued Sony in 2012.
On Monday, Hellerstein said new evidence brought to his attention by Sony offered “competent and substantial proof” that the cassette on which Arias allegedly recorded the song, which had been used to register a U.S. copyright, was not made in 1998 as claimed. Hellerstein said he has lost faith in Arias’ testimony.
A representatives for Mayimba and its lawyers declined to comment on Monday’s ruling.
Sony’s attorney, Barry Slotnick, said, “We’re very pleased and gratified on behalf of Sony and the real writers, El Cata and Shakira.”