Mariah Carey has been sued for $20 million (£16 million) for copyright infringement in connection with her famous song “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
The case, filed by songwriter Andy Stone, names both the singer and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff.
Carey and Afanasieff’s song was released by the American singer in 1994 as part of her album Merry Christmas, and it has since become one of the most well-known holiday successes.
Mr Stone argues in legal documents filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that he co-wrote a song with the same name in 1989 and never gave permission for it to be used.
Songwriter Andy Stone claims he co-wrote a song with the same title five years ago, claiming that Ms Carey took advantage of his “popularity” and “taste.”
The two songs appear musically different while sharing a title, but Mr Stone alleges Ms Carey caused misunderstanding and did not ask for permission. Ms Carey has yet to answer.
Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You is a must-have on any Christmas playlist and one of the most well-known Christmas records of all time.
Since its debut on the album Merry Christmas in 1994, it has topped the charts in various countries and reportedly earned Ms Carey more than $60 million (£48 million) in royalties by 2017.
According to the complaint, Ms Carey, her co-writer Walter Afanasieff, and record company Sony Music Entertainment received “undeserved profits” from the song, and the defendants “knowingly, deliberately, and purposefully participated in a campaign” to breach copyright.
Mr Stone claims that he never authorised the use of his song for any reason, including “the development of a derivative work.”
It’s unclear why the legal challenge was filed 28 years after Ms Carey’s song was released.
According to the lawsuit, Mr Stone’s lawyers approached Ms Carey and her co-defendants last year but were “unable to reach any resolution.”
Different songs with the same name are not uncommon, and the United States Copyright Office includes 177 entries on its website under the title All I Want for Christmas is You.