Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bellamy Brothers sued over song

TAMPA — A judge is being asked to "hold it against" somebody.

Question is: Who?

The songwriters behind the Britney Spears hit Hold It Against Me this week filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in federal court asking a judge to rule that they did not rip off elements of the song from Pasco County's Bellamy Brothers.

The Bellamys had been threatening legal action against Spears and the songwriters because they said her song may too closely resemble their 1979 composition, If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me).

The line originally comes from the mouth of the late comedian Groucho Marx, who David Bellamy has said was his inspiration for the song.

But Hold It Against Me songwriters Lukasz Gottwald, a.k.a. Dr. Luke, Bonnie McKee, Mathieu Jomphelepine and Martin Sandberg filed suit in U.S. District Court in Tampa asking a judge to rule that they did not infringe on the Bellamy Brothers' copyright.

Spears, who performed the song and included it in her album Femme Fatale, was not listed as a plaintiff in the suit.

Gottwald seeks unspecified damages because he said the Bellamys have defamed him on their website, Bellamybrothers.com, with false charges that he had previously violated U.S. copyright law.

The songwriters said in the suit that the Bellamys are engaging in an "extremely visible smear campaign" with their false charges.

"The transparent publicity stunt by the Bellamy Brothers has clearly been undertaken in a desperate attempt to combat fading interest and to spike lagging sales of the Bellamy Brothers' music," the lawsuit said.

Representatives of the two sides could not be reached to comment late Friday.

A Bellamy Brothers representative told the St. Petersburg Times in a Feb. 23 story that the country duo had hired Richard Busch, a copyright law heavyweight.

William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3432.

Bellamy Brothers sued over song 03/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102