Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 1 of 20 Page ID #:1

FREUND & BRACKEY LLP
1 Thomas A. Brackey II (SBN 162279)
tbrackey@freundandbrackey.com
2 Joshua G. Zetlin (SBN 273086)
jzetlin@freundandbrackey.com
3 427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
4 Tel: 310-247-2165
Fax: 310-247-2190
5
Attorneys for Plaintiff,
6
CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDINGS) LIMITED
7
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
8
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
9
Case No. 15-mc-00296
10 CUTTING EDGE MUSIC
(HOLDINGS) LIMITED, a United
11 Kingdom Company
COMPLAINT FOR:
Plaintiff,
1. Violation of 17 U.S.C. §101 et seq.
12
(Copyright Infringement);
v.
2. Unjust Enrichment;
13
3. Demand for Accounting;
14 ABEL MAKKONEN TESFAYE, a/k/a 4. Constructive Trust; and
THE WEEKND, an individual;
5. Permanent Injunction.
15 EMMANUEL NICKERSON a/k/a
MILLION DOLLAR MANO, an
[DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL]
16 individual; CARLO MONTAGNESE,
a/k/a ILLANGELO, an individual,
17 AHMAD BALSHE a/k/a BELLY, an
individual, UNIVERSAL MUSIC
18 GROUP, a California Corporation;
REPUBLIC RECORDS, a New York
19 Corporation; WARNER CHAPPELL
MUSIC, a Delaware Corporation;
20 SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING,
LLC, a Delaware limited liability
21 company; SONGS MUSIC
PUBLISHING, LLC, a New York
22 limited liability company; WB MUSIC
CORP, a California corporation,
23 CONNOISSEUR OF CONNISSEURS,
an entity of unknown origin; CP
24 MUSIC GROUP INC., an entity of
unknown origin; SONGS OF SMP, an
25 entity of unknown origin; SONGS OF
HEAR THE ART, an entity of
26 unknown origin; SONY/ATV
BALLAD, an entity of unknown origin;
27 XO, an entity of unknown origin; and
DOES 1 through 10, inclusive,
28
1
Defendants.

Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 2 of 20 Page ID #:2

1

Plaintiff, CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDINGS) LIMITED, by and

2 through its attorneys Freund & Brackey LLP, hereby complains and alleges as
3 follows:
4
5

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1.

This is a civil action arising under the United States Copyright Act. This

6 Court has federal question jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1121,
7 17 U.S.C. § 501, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) as well as pendant
8 jurisdiction over all state claims.
9

2.

Exercise of specific personal jurisdiction over Defendants is consistent

10 with the principles of due process as enumerated in the California and U.S.
11 Constitutions, as Defendants have minimum contacts with California such that
12 maintenance of this suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and
13 substantial justice. Upon information and belief: (1) Defendants operate at least one
14 business through which they have specifically targeted Californians; (2) Defendants
15 have intentionally infringed CEMH’s registered copyrights, which acts are expressly
16 aimed at CEMH’s business activities in California, and have harmed CEMH, the
17 brunt of which it has suffered, and which Defendants know is likely to be suffered,
18 in California; and (3) CEMH’s claims arise out of or result from the Defendants’
19 activities in California.
20

3.

Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1391(b) and

21 28 U.S.C. §1400(a).
22
23

INTRODUCTION
4.

This Complaint is brought to redress Defendants’ ABEL MAKKONEN

24 TESFAYE, a/k/a THE WEEKND, EMMANUEL NICKERSON a/k/a MILLION
25 DOLLAR MANO, CARLO MONTAGNESE, a/k/a ILLANGELO, AHMAD
26 BALSHE a/k/a BELLY, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, REPUBLIC RECORDS,
27 WARNER CHAPPELL MUSIC, SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING, LLC,
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

2

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 3 of 20 Page ID #:3

1 SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING, LLC, WB MUSIC CORP, CONNOISSEUR OF
2 CONNISSEURS, CP MUSIC GROUP INC., SONGS OF SMP, SONGS OF HEAR
3 THE ART, SONY/ATV BALLAD, and XO’s, (also “Defendant” or “Defendants”
4 collectively) willful violation of Plaintiff CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDING)
5 LIMITED’s (“CEMH”)’s exclusive interest in the copyrighted musical composition
6 of an original song, titled “Revolution” on the soundtrack album and “Revolution
7 Sequence” on the cue sheet, (the “Track”) from the score for the motion picture
8 entitled The Machine. With full knowledge of CEMH’s copyright in the Track, and
9 without CEMH’s permission, Defendants blatantly copied a unique and significant
10 portion of the Track and included it in a high profile and widely distributed single
11 and album, thereby infringing on the copyrights exclusively licensed by CEMH.
12 CEMH requests statutory and/or actual damages and an injunction under the U.S.
13 Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq., along with monetary and injunctive
14 remedies for Defendants’ unauthorized exploitation of the Track and their unjust
15 enrichment therefrom.
16
17

THE PARTIES
5.

Plaintiff CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDINGS) LIMITED is a United

18 Kingdom company with its principal place of business in London, England. CEMH
19 provides financing to motion picture productions and acquires interests in film score
20 compositions and sound recordings. It creates significant value for its investors by
21 exploiting its catalogue of film score rights across a variety of platforms. CEMH is
22 the exclusive licensee and administrator of the original composition and sound
23 recording in and to the score of the motion picture entitled The Machine (the
24 “Score”), originally composed by Tom Raybould, which includes the Track. CEMH
25 also holds, via written instrument, the right to prosecute claims relating to the Score.
26

6.

Defendant ABEL MAKKONEN TESFAYE, a/k/a THE WEEKND (“THE

27 WEEKND”), an individual, is a well-known Canadian singer, songwriter and record
28
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3

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 4 of 20 Page ID #:4

1 producer, responsible for performing and popularizing numerous songs. Upon
2 information and belief, THE WEEKND popularized, regularly performs, claims
3 ownership in, and shares in the revenue stream from the Billboard Hot 100 chart4 topping song entitled “The Hills” (hereinafter the “Infringing Song”), which
5 appeared initially as a single and subsequently as the fifth track on the studio album
6 entitled “Beauty Behind the Madness” (the “Infringing Album”).
7

7.

Defendant EMMANUEL NICKERSON a/k/a MILLION DOLLAR

8 MANO (“MANO”), an individual, is a prominent music producer who has worked
9 with numerous notable musicians including Kanye West. Upon information and
10 belief, MANO helped to compose, claims ownership in, and shares in the revenue
11 stream from the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
12

8.

Defendant CARLO MONTAGNESE a/k/a ILLANGELO

13 (“ILLANGELO”) is a Grammy Award-winning music producer, songwriter,
14 musician and mixing engineer, who rose to prominence as the long-time
15 collaborator of Defendant THE WEEKND. Upon information and belief,
16 ILLANGELO helped to compose, claims ownership in, and shares in the revenue
17 stream from the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
18

9.

Defendant AHMAD BALSHE a/k/a BELLY (“BELLY”) is a highly

19 successful rapper who has written numerous successful songs for other artists and
20 frequently collaborates with THE WEEKND. Upon information and belief, BELLY
21 helped to compose, claims ownership in, and shares in the revenue stream from the
22 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
23

10. Defendant UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (“UMG”) is a corporation

24 organized and existing under the laws of the State of California. CEMH is informed
25 and believes that UMG is manufacturing and distributing the Infringing Song and
26 the Infringing Album and participating in the revenue stream of the Infringing Song
27 and the Infringing Album. Additionally, CEMH is informed and believe that UMG
28
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427 North Camden Drive
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4

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 5 of 20 Page ID #:5

1 claims an ownership interest in the sound recording of the Infringing Song and the
2 Infringing Album.
3

11. CEMH is informed and believe that Defendant REPUBLIC RECORDS

4 (“REPUBLIC”) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State
5 of New York, which upon information and belief, regularly conducts business in
6 Los Angeles County, California. CEMH is informed and believes that REPUBLIC
7 is the record label responsible for production, manufacture, distribution, marketing,
8 and promotion of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album, as well as
9 participating in the revenue stream therefrom. Additionally, CEMH is informed and
10 believes that REPUBLIC claims an ownership interest in the sound recording of the
11 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
12

12. Defendant WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC, INC.

13 (“WARNER/CHAPPELL”) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws
14 of the State of Delaware, which is registered as a foreign entity in California and
15 upon information and belief, regularly conducts business in Los Angeles County.
16 WARNER/CHAPPELL is a music publishing company, which CEMH is informed
17 and believes, is responsible for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song
18 and the Infringing Album. Upon information and belief, WARNER/CHAPPELL
19 claims an ownership interest in the Infringing Song and also participates in the
20 revenue stream from the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
21

13. Defendant SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC (“SONY/ATV”) is a

22 limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of
23 Delaware, which is registered as a foreign entity in California and upon information
24 and belief, regularly conducts business in Los Angeles County. SONY/ATV is a
25 music publishing company, which CEMH is informed and believes, is responsible
26 for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
27 Upon information and belief, SONY/ATV claims an ownership interest in the
28
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427 North Camden Drive
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5

COMPLAINT

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1 Infringing Song and also participates in the revenue stream from the Infringing Song
2 and the Infringing Album.
3

14. Defendant SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING, LLC (“SMP”) is a limited

4 liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York,
5 which is registered as a foreign entity in California and upon information and belief,
6 regularly conducts business in Los Angeles County. SMP is a music publishing
7 company, which CEMH is informed and believes, is responsible for exploiting the
8 composition of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album. Upon information
9 and belief, SMP claims an ownership interest in the Infringing Song and also
10 participates in the revenue stream from the Infringing Song and the Infringing
11 Album.
12

15. CEMH is informed and believes Defendant WB MUSIC CORP

13 (“WBMC”) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of
14 California, and has its principal office in Los Angeles County. WBMC is a music
15 publishing company, which CEMH is informed and believes, is responsible for
16 exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album. Upon
17 information and belief, WBMC claims an ownership interest in the Infringing Song
18 and also participates in the revenue stream from the Infringing Song and the
19 Infringing Album.
20

16. Defendant CONNOISSEUR OF CONNISSEURS (“COC”) is an entity of

21 unknown designation that CEMH is informed and believes conducts business in Los
22 Angeles County. COC is a music publishing company, which CEMH is informed
23 and believes, is responsible for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song
24 and the Infringing Album. Upon information and belief, COC claims an ownership
25 interest in the Infringing Song and also participates in the revenue stream from the
26 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
27
28
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427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

6

COMPLAINT

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1

17. Defendant CP MUSIC GROUP INC. (“CPMG”) is an entity of unknown

2 designation that CEMH is informed and believes conducts business in Los Angeles
3 County. CPMG is a music publishing company, which CEMH is informed and
4 believes, is responsible for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song and
5 the Infringing Album. Upon information and belief, CPMG claims an ownership
6 interest in the Infringing Song and also participates in the revenue stream from the
7 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
8

18. Defendant SONGS OF SMP (“SOS”) is an entity of unknown designation

9 that CEMH is informed and believes conducts business in Los Angeles County.
10 SOS is a music publishing company, which CEMH is informed and believes, is
11 responsible for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song and the Infringing
12 Album. Upon information and belief, SOS claims an ownership interest in the
13 Infringing Song and also participates in the revenue stream from the Infringing Song
14 and the Infringing Album.
15

19. Defendant SONGS OF HEAR THE ART (“SOHTA”) is an entity of

16 unknown designation that CEMH is informed and believes conducts business in Los
17 Angeles County. SOTHA is a music publishing company, which CEMH is
18 informed and believes, is responsible for exploiting the composition of the
19 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album. Upon information and belief, SOTHA
20 claims an ownership interest in the Infringing Song and also participates in the
21 revenue stream from the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
22

20. Defendant SONY/ATV BALLAD (“SAB”) is an entity of unknown

23 designation that CEMH is informed and believes conducts business in Los Angeles
24 County. SAB is a music publishing company, which CEMH is informed and
25 believes, is responsible for exploiting the composition of the Infringing Song and
26 the Infringing Album. Upon information and belief, SAB claims an ownership
27
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

7

COMPLAINT

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1 interest in the Infringing Song and also participates in the revenue stream from the
2 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
3

21. Defendant XO (“XO”) is an entity of unknown designation that CEMH is

4 informed and believes conducts business in Los Angeles County. CEMH is
5 informed and believes that XO is claiming an ownership interest in, and
6 participating in the revenue stream from, the Infringing Song and the Infringing
7 Album. Defendant THE WEEKND asserts that XO is his “label” and that XO is in
8 some manner responsible for the behavior constituting the unauthorized exploitation
9 of the Track.
10

22. CEMH is unaware of the names and true capacities of Defendants named

11 herein as DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, whether individual, corporate, partnership
12 and/or other entity, and therefore sue them by their fictitious names. CEMH will
13 seek leave to amend this Complaint when their true names and capacities are
14 ascertained.
15

23. CEMH is informed and believes, and based thereon allege, that

16 Defendants and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, are each in some manner responsible
17 for the wrongs alleged herein, and that at all times referenced each was the agent
18 and servant of the other Defendants, each of whom obtained financial benefit from
19 the Defendants’ acts and omissions, and each of whom was acting within the course
20 and scope of said agency and employment.
21

24. CEMH is informed and believe, and based thereon allege, that at all

22 relevant times herein, Defendants, and DOES 1 through 10 inclusive, did aid, abet,
23 participate in, contribute to, or benefit from the acts and behavior alleged herein and
24 the damages caused thereby, and by their inaction ratified and encouraged such acts
25 and behavior.
26

25. CEMH further alleges that Defendants and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive,

27 had a non-delegable duty to prevent or cure such acts and the behavior described
28
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8

COMPLAINT

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1 herein, which duty Defendants and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, failed and/or
2 refused to perform.
3

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

4

26. Cutting Edge Music Services Limited, a motion picture music services

5 company that regularly provides music supervisory services on major international
6 blockbuster films, commissioned Tom Raybould (“Raybould”), a well-respected and
7 widely known composer, to create the musical Score for a motion picture entitled
8 The Machine. The Score included the Track, and the Track was featured in the final
9 cut of The Machine and on the film’s soundtrack album.
10

27. In the written agreement commissioning creation of the Score for The

11 Machine, Raybould covenanted to enter into an agreement with 3AM Music Limited
12 (“3AM”), under which he would assign the copyright and all other rights in and to
13 the entire Score, including the Track, to 3AM.
14

28. On June 11, 2013, Raybould and 3AM entered into a written agreement,

15 titled “Assignment of Rights” pursuant to which Raybould irrevocably assigned to
16 3AM “all rights including without limitation the entire worldwide copyright and all
17 rights of action and all other rights of whatever nature” in and to the composition
18 and sound recording of the Score, which included the Track.
19

29. The first public screening of The Machine occurred on April 20, 2013, at

20 the Tribeca Film Festival, and constituted the initial public performance of the Score
21 and its constituent Track.
22

30. The soundtrack album of the Score, containing the Track, was released to

23 the public on April 22, 2014.
24

31. The Machine was released theatrically in the United States on April 25,

25 2014.
26

32. Raybould received the prestigious 2013 Best Original Music BAFTA

27 Cymru Award for composing the Score of The Machine.
28
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9

COMPLAINT

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1

33. Pursuant to a written Administration Agreement between CEMH and

2 3AM, 3AM granted to CEMH an exclusive license to administer, control, use, and
3 exploit, and otherwise deal in all right title and interest, including the worldwide
4 copyright, in the composition and sound recording of the Score. This license grant
5 specifically included the sole and exclusive right to prosecute, defend and/or settle
6 any third party action or claim relating to the Score.
7

34. Pandora Films Ltd., producer of The Machine, registered The Machine

8 with the United States Copyright Office as a Motion Picture work. The film
9 received Registration Number PA0001875037.
10

35. 3AM submitted its own separate application to register the composition of

11 the Score, and specifically including the Track as a title included in the application,
12 as a work of Performing Arts. 3AM deposited via electronic upload a copy of the
13 Score with the United States Copyright Office and paid the registration service fee.
14 The registration case is currently pending with the United States Copyright Office.
15

36. On or about March 9, 2015, Defendant MANO sent Raybould a Twitter

16 direct message stating “I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next
17 album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!”
18

37. On or about May 27, 2015, Defendant THE WEEKND, through his labels

19 XO and REPUBLIC, released the Infringing Song, as the second single from The
20 WEEKND’s then-forthcoming second studio album entitled “Beauty Behind the
21 Madness”, the Infringing Album. The Infringing Album was subsequently released
22 on August 28, 2015, by Defendants XO and REPUBLIC, and featured the Infringing
23 Song as its fifth track.
24

38. The Infringing Song contains materials bearing substantial similarity to

25 original and unique portions of the Track (“Revolution”) appearing 2 minutes 26
26 seconds from the beginning of the Track (for purposes of clarity, a portion
27
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10

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 11 of 20 Page ID #:11

1 beginning 2 minutes and 26 seconds into the Track “Revolution” a/k/a “Revolution
2 Sequence” appears throughout the Infringing Song).
3

39. Specifically, both the Infringing Song and the Track featuring synthesizer

4 bass-lines performed with almost identical idiosyncratic sounds at the same register
5 and using the same pitch sequence, melodic phase structure and rhythmic durations.
6 The Infringing Song and the Track also share other distinct melodic, rhythmic and
7 formatted similarities. The essential elements from the Track recur throughout the
8 Infringing Song, forming a type of bed within the Infringing Song. Furthermore, a
9 distinctive decorative note omission occurs at the same place within the musical part
10 in both the Track and the Infringing Song.
11

40. These strong musicological similarities between the Infringing Song and

12 the Track reinforce the conclusion that the Infringing Song represents a copying of
13 the Track.
14

41. Upon information and belief, the Infringing Song was jointly produced by

15 Defendants MANO and ILLANGEL. The Infringing Album credits Defendants
16 MANO and ILLANGEL with producing the Infringing Song.
17

42. Upon information and belief, the Infringing Song was jointly written by

18 Defendants MANO, ILLANGEL, BELLY and THE WEEKND. The Infringing
19 Album, ASCAP and BMI all credit Defendants MANO, ILLANGEL, BELLY and
20 THE WEEKND with writing the Infringing Song.
21

43. Upon information and belief, the Infringing Song was recorded and

22 performed by THE WEEKND. The Infringing Album credits THE WEEKND with
23 performing the Infringing Song.
24

44. Upon information and belief, Defendants XO, REPUBLIC, and UMG are

25 the labels and distributors who were and are involved with the creation,
26 manufacture, release, marketing, distribution, public performance and other
27 exploitation of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
28
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11

COMPLAINT

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1

45. Upon information and belief, Defendants WARNER/CHAPPELL,

2 SONY/ATV, SMP, WBMC, COC, CPMG, SOS, SOHTA and SAB are the music
3 publishers who were and are involved with the release, reproduction, distribution,
4 administration, public performance and other exploitation of the Infringing Song
5 and the Infringing Album.
6

46. The Infringing Song and the Infringing Album were released, distributed

7 and marketed throughout the United States, including California, and throughout the
8 rest of the World.
9

47. The single release of the Infringing Song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100

10 at number 20 for the chart dated June 13, 2015, and received first-week digital
11 download sales of 109,000 copies and 5.2 million domestic streams. The Infringing
12 Album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with sales of approximately
13 326,000 copies in its first week. As of October 19, 2015 music industry publication
14 Billboard reported “The Weeknd’s ‘The Hills’ tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth
15 week… ‘The Hills’ leads Radio Songs for a fourth week (150 million in audience,
16 up 1 percent) and rebounds 2-1 for a third frame atop Streaming Songs (20 million
17 U.S. Streams, up 14 percent). ‘Hills’ also notches a fifth week at No. 1 on
18 Billboard’s Hot R & B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.” Upon information and belief, both
19 the single version of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album have become
20 huge commercial successes and have generated millions of sales and streams, and
21 continue to be sold and streamed worldwide.
22

48. The Infringing Song obtained even greater publicity and dissemination via

23 remixes created by several prominent musicians. These include a remix by
24 American rapper Eminem, publicly posted on YouTube on or about October 10,
25 2015, a remix performed jointly by Nicki Minaj and THE WEEKND on Saturday
26 Night Live, and a remix Lil Wayne included on his mixtape entitled ‘No Ceilings 2’.
27
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COMPLAINT

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1

49. On December 7, 2015 the Infringing Album was nominated for seven

2 Grammy Awards, including Best Album of the Year.
3

50. At this time, Defendants continue to engage in infringing activities.

4

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

5

Copyright Infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.

6

(Against All Defendants)

7

51. CEMH realleges and incorporates by reference each and every allegation

8 set forth in paragraphs 1 through 50, inclusive.
9

52. CEMH is the exclusive licensee of the U.S. copyright in all right, title and

10 interest in the musical composition of the Score, including the Track, written by
11 Raybould, and the sole party empowered to prosecute actions and claims relating to
12 the Score. The musical composition is properly registered with the United States
13 Copyright Office.
14

53. Defendants intentionally and knowingly infringed the copyright in the

15 Track by reproducing, adapting, copying, publicly distributing, publicly displaying,
16 publicly performing and otherwise exploiting distinct, important and recognizable
17 portions of the work without CEMH’s consent. In so doing, Defendants acted in
18 violation of CEMH’s exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.
19

54. CEMH did not and does not authorize any of the Defendants, or any of

20 Defendants’ agents, to utilize, reproduce, adapt, copy, create derivative works,
21 distribute, display, or otherwise exploit any portion of its work, including the
22 musical composition of the Track, or to interpolate any portion of the Track into the
23 Infringing Song.
24

55. As a direct result of Defendants’ willful acts of copyright infringement as

25 described herein, CEMH has suffered substantial damage, in an amount to be proven
26 at trial.
27
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COMPLAINT

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1

56. Since Defendants’ acts have also caused CEMH irreparable, ongoing

2 injury of a nature that cannot be adequately compensated or measured in damages,
3 CEMH has no adequate remedy at law and will suffer immediate and irreparable
4 loss, damage and injury unless Defendants are restrained and enjoined from
5 continuing to engage in such wrongful conduct.
6

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

7

[Unjust Enrichment]

8

(Against All Defendants)

9

57. CEMH realleges and incorporate by reference each and every allegation

10 set forth in paragraphs 1 through 56, inclusive.
11

58. By reason of the foregoing facts, Defendants, and each of them, have

12 become unjustly enriched at the expense of CEMH by failing to license from CEMH
13 the right to use the Track and by realizing monetary gain from their unauthorized
14 use of CEMH’s Track.
15

59. Defendants, and each of them, have been unjustly enriched in an amount

16 which cannot be precisely ascertained at this time, but will be ascertained according
17 to proof at trial.
18

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

19

[Demand for Accounting]

20

(Against All Defendants)

21

60.

CEMH realleges and incorporates by reference each and every

22 allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 59, inclusive.
23

61.

As seen above, CEMH has an interest in all of the money that is

24 generated from the distribution and exploitation of the Infringing Song as a single
25 and the Infringing Album in that they are the exclusive copyright licensees of the
26 Track.
27
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COMPLAINT

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1

62.

CEMH is informed and believes that Defendants have generated an

2 undetermined, yet substantial amount of money, due to the commercial success of
3 the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album through sales, distribution, promotion,
4 circulation, and other exploitation of CEMH’s original musical composition of the
5 Track in the Infringing Song and on the Infringing Album, and as contained on other
6 compilations and fixations.
7

63.

The amount of money due from Defendants is unknown to CEMH and

8 cannot be ascertained without an accounting of all of the Defendants’ financial
9 records related to the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album.
10

64.

As a result of Defendants’ actions, or lack thereof, CEMH has been

11 damaged in an amount to be proven after an accounting has been conducted.
12 Accordingly, CEMH hereby requests that the Court order an accounting of all of
13 Defendants’ financial records related to the Infringing Song and the Infringing
14 Album in order to determine the sums rightfully due to CEMH. Furthermore,
15 CEMH demands that those sums be paid to them.
16

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

17

[Constructive Trust]

18

(Against All Defendants)

19

65.

CEMH realleges and incorporates by reference each and every

20 allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 64, inclusive.
21

66.

CEMH is informed and believes Defendants have generated an

22 undetermined, yet substantial amount of money due to the commercial success of
23 the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album through sales, distribution, promotion,
24 circulation, administration and other exploitation of the Infringing Song and the
25 Infringing Album.
26

67.

As seen above, CEMH is entitled to all of the money that is generated

27 from the nonconsensual exploitation of their Track in that they are entitled to
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

15

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 16 of 20 Page ID #:16

1 receive all profits and a licensing fee. CEMH has not given their consent for
2 Defendants to utilize their original musical composition of the Track to create the
3 Infringing Song; therefore, CEMH has not been paid any licensing fee conferring
4 such privilege on Defendants.
5

68.

By failing to provide CEMH with the licensing fee required to create

6 and exploit the Infringing Song, Defendants have violated CEMH’s rights and have
7 been unjustly enriched in an amount to be determined at trial.
8

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

9

[Permanent Injunction]

10

(Against All Defendants)

11

69.

CEMH realleges and incorporates by reference each and every

12 allegation set forth in paragraphs 1 through 68, inclusive.
13

70.

In or about March 2015 and continuing until the present, Defendants,

14 and each of them, have promoted, advertised, administered, performed, sold and
15 otherwise exploited the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album, or caused the
16 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album to be promoted, advertised, administered,
17 performed, sold and otherwise exploited, without CEMH’s consent and without
18 payment.
19

71.

These actions by and on behalf of Defendants are wrongful and should

20 be enjoined in that they have caused, and continue to cause, CEMH great and
21 irreparable injury.
22

72.

CEHM has no other plain, speedy or adequate remedy at law, and the

23 injunctive relief prayed for below is necessary and appropriate at this time to
24 prevent irreparable loss to CEMH’s interests.
25

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

26 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDINGS) LIMITED prays
27 for judgment against Defendants, and each of them, as follows:
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

16

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 17 of 20 Page ID #:17

1

ON THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

2

1. That the Court adjudge and decree that the Defendants have willfully

3 infringed CEMH’s exclusive rights under copyright law;
4

2. That the Defendants, and those acting in concert with them, be

5 permanently enjoined from engaging in further acts of copying the Track;
6

3. That Defendants, and those acting in concert with them, be permanently

7 enjoined from exploiting any products substantially similar to the Track;
8

4. An award of damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(b), including actual

9 damages, and the Defendants’ profits at an amount to be proven at trial, or in the
10 alternative, statutory damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), in the amount of
11 $150,000 for each act of infringement;
12

5. That Defendants disgorge all profits derived from their wrongful conduct;

13

6. Interest at the maximum legal rate;

14

7. All reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred herein;

15

8. That the Court grants such other, further, and different relief as the Court

16 deems just and proper under the circumstances.
17
18

ON THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
1. That CEMH be awarded the monies gained by Defendants at CEMH’s

19 expense through the unauthorized use of the Track.
20

2. That the Defendants, and those acting in concert with them, be

21 permanently enjoined from engaging in further acts of infringement by making,
22 promoting, distributing, administering, performing, selling or otherwise exploiting
23 the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album in their current state, until CEMH has
24 received proper credit and consideration for the use of the Track from which the
25 Infringing Song was copied.
26
27
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Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

3. Interest at the maximum legal rate from the date the Infringing Song was
released to the public.
17

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 18 of 20 Page ID #:18

1

4. All reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred herein;

2

5. That Defendants be ordered to account for and recall from distribution

3 channels any and all copies of the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album so as to
4 permanently remove them from the stream of commerce; and
5

6. That the Court grants such other, further, and different relief as the Court

6 deems just and proper under the circumstances.
7
8

ON THE THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
1. That the Court order an accounting of all Defendants’ financial records

9 relating to the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album in order to determine the
10 sums of money owed to CEMH;
11

2. Upon a determination of sums due to CEMH, demand is made that those

12 sums be paid to CEMH;
13

3. Interest at the maximum legal rate from the date said sums were due;

14

4. All reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred herein; and

15

5. Any other relief deemed by the Court to be just and reasonable.

16
17

ON THE FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
1. That the Court imposes an actual or constructive trust upon Defendants in

18 favor of CEMH with respect to all income received by them from exploitation of the
19 Infringing Song and the Infringing Album;
20

2. An award of restitution in an amount greater than or equal to Defendants’

21 unjust enrichment, the value of which is to be determined by proof at trial;
22

3. Interest at the maximum legal rate from the date of public distribution of

23 the Infringing Song;
24

4. All reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred herein; and

25

5. Any other relief deemed by the Court to be just and reasonable.

26 ///
27 ///
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

18

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 19 of 20 Page ID #:19

1
2

ON THE FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
1. For a permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants, and those acting in

3 concert with them, from engaging in further acts of infringement by making,
4 promoting, distributing, administering, performing, selling or otherwise exploiting
5 the Infringing Song and the Infringing Album in their current state.
6

2. Further that Defendants be ordered to account for and recall from

7 distribution channels any and all copies of the Infringing Song and the Infringing
8 Album so as to permanently remove then from the stream of commerce;
9
10

3. All reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred herein; and
4. That the Court grants such other, further, and different relief as the Court

11 deems just and proper under the circumstances.
12
13 DATED: December 9, 2015

FREUND & BRACKEY, LLP

14
15
16

By:

17
18
19
20

_/Thomas A. Brackey II/____
Thomas A. Brackey II,
Joshua G. Zetlin
Attorneys for Plaintiff,
CUTTING EDGE MUSIC
(HOLDINGS) LIMITED

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25
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27
28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

19

COMPLAINT

Case 2:15-mc-00296 Document 1 Filed 12/09/15 Page 20 of 20 Page ID #:20

1
2

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff CUTTING EDGE MUSIC (HOLDINGS) LIMITED hereby demand

3 a jury trial on all issues triable of right by jury
4
5 DATED: December 9, 2015

FREUND & BRACKEY, LLP

6
7
8

By:

9
10
11
12

_/Thomas A. Brackey II/____
Thomas A. Brackey II,
Joshua G. Zetlin
Attorneys for Plaintiff,
CUTTING EDGE MUSIC
(HOLDINGS) LIMITED

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28
Freund & Brackey LLP
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

20

COMPLAINT

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