71 year old country singer sues Apple, Amazon, Napster over copyright

A plucky Christian gospel and country musician from the US has filed a lawsuit against a host of giants in the music distribution world including Apple, Napster and Amazon for copyright infringement.

Jack Morris, a resident of Georgia has hit out at the distribution of a number of songs which he alleges were illegally recorded by another artist from Bowden Georgia, Phil Coley.  The 71 year old singer has stepped up to the fatcats of the music business demanding $150,000 in damages from firms including the following: Amazon; Rhapsody; Apple, Napster, Microsoft, CD Universe, CDWOW, Tradebit and BMI.

Morris is mighty peeved that a number of his songs have been recorded by fellow country singer Phil Coley and allegedly distributed through CD Baby website.  Morris is rightly proud of tracks such as ‘I Wish He Would Come Back Today’, ‘Touch of Heaven’ and, Techeye’s personal favourite, the sweet melody of ‘Lord The Best Thing Was My Finding You’, which are available under Coley’s name.

In the documented lawsuit Morris alleges that “through their conduct the Defendants have acted knowingly, recklessly and with malice and the Plaintiff is, in addition to its actual damages, by reason thereof, entitled to recover exemplary and punitive damages against Defendants.”

“At all relevant times, Jack Morris is and has been the rightful owner of the copyrights to and in the ‘Wish’, ‘Touch’, and ‘Finding You’.”

The lawsuit which demands a jury trial also asks that “the Defendants deliver up for destruction all copies or phonographs which have been made or used in violation of the Plaintiff’s exclusive rights, and of all masters or other articles by which such copies or phonographs may be reproduced.” 

Morris also demands the following compensation from the list of defendants: “(i) actual damages and the profits derived by Defendants, and each of them, as a result of its infringing activities, or (ii) statutory damages in the maximum amount of $150,000 with respect to the ‘Wish’, ‘Touch’, and ‘Finding You’ compositions.”

While it is clearly not Techeye’s place to offer opinion in such a high profile country music lawsuit, not least because the only country music likely to get played on the TechEye stereo is Garth Brooks in his rather strange goth phase, it is good to see Morris, whose “dream to become recognised as a Gospel Songwriter lives on even stronger than ever,” is not afraid to stand up for what he obviously perceives to be the unjust distribution of his songs