Blind Melon Settles "Insane" Copyright Lawsuit

The dispute veered from a possible discussion of cover songs to differing interpretations of what happened in licensing negotiations.
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Members of Blind Melon have reached a settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought over Mandy Jiroux's "Insane," which was alleged to infringe the copyright to the rock band's 1993 mega-hit song "No Rain."

The case was filed last August and was somewhat unusual.

According to the complaint, this is "a somewhat unique case where substantial and verbatim copying is not disputed, but Defendants will claim that they had a license to incorporate substantial portions of Blind Melon's most successful song 'No Rain' into the Infringing Works."

The plaintiffs spoke through their lawsuit about how Jiroux's manager, Kenneth Komisar, originally got in contact for a "No Rain" cover. But after finding that "Insane" (still on YouTube) was a derivative — not a cover — the band members allegedly denied permission.

Counterclaims were subsequently brought that alleged Blind Melon expressly and impliedly agreed to license their famous song in exchange for 100 percent of publishing. There was no signed written agreement, and the dispute veered from a possible discussion of cover songs (the U.S. Copyright Act only allows for a compulsory license when the "basic melody or fundamental character of the work" isn't changed) and fair use to differing interpretations of negotiation over "Insane."

Without any substantive ruling, the case ends after mediation and after a judge was informed in court this week of a settlement. Terms weren't disclosed in court papers.

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