Lawsuit of the Day: Cirque du Soleil Sues Justin Timberlake

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Remember when Marvin Gaye’s family sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell for a ton of money for clear similarities between “Blurred Lines” and “Got to Give it Up?” (Or, for that matter, remember all of the other frequent lawsuits about sampling?) Well, there’s a new one of those — which just so happens to be exponentially more amusing.

Billboard reports that Cirque du Soleil — the Canadian circus company that’s, incidentally, the world’s largest theatrical producer — is suing Justin Timberlake. The accusation is that Timberlake and producer Timbaland sampled some Cirque music without permission for the popstar’s The 20/20 Experience track, “Don’t Hold the Wall.” If Timber/Timba were indeed going through the backlog of Cirque du Soleil tracks, the lawsuit suggests they landed on the 1997 Quidam track, “Steel Dream,” from the show about a bored girl who dreams up a magical world and the production’s titular headless man with an umbrella — “Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past… One who cries out, sings and dreams within us all.” The original track, along with the rest of the music from Quidam, was composed by Benoît Jutras.

The suit reportedly also names co-writers J-Roc and James Fauntleroy, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music and WB Music Corp, and asks for a minimum of $800,000 for copyright infringement. Here are the two tracks (note the Cirque-yness in the Timberlake track especially around 4:05):