Judge Rules Shakira's "Loca" Illegally Copied Track By Ramon ‘Arias’ Vasquez
A New York judge has found that Shakira’s 2010 single “Loca” illegally copied a 1998 song by Dominican Republic songwriter Ramon ‘Arias’ Vasquez.
Shakira's "Loca" Illegally Copied Arias' Song
Shakira’s “Loca,” the lead single off her 2010 album Sale el Sol, was a collaboration with Eduardo Edwin Bello Pou, known as El Cata, who reportedly brought the song to Shakira and falsely presented the work as his own.
In the lawsuit, brought forth by Mayimba Music, who bought the rights of the song from Vasquez, Vasquez claims he composed “Loca con su Tiguera,” the song upon which Mayimba Music alleges Shakira’s “Loca” is based. Vasquez told US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein that he shared “Loca con su Tiguera” with El Cata in 2006 or 2007 when the two singers met outside a studio in the Dominican Republic. Bello denies the two ever met, and claims he wrote the song about his ex-wife.
Eventually, the song found it’s way to Shakira, who recorded her own version with El Cata.
“She [Shakira] told me, ‘You have something that makes me move.’ I told her it was the percussion, and I said, ‘Those sounds that you want, I have them in my studio,’” El Cata said of their collaboration in 2010.
“There is no dispute that Shakira’s version of the song was based on Bello’s version. Accordingly, I find that, since Bello had copied Arias, whoever wrote Shakira’s version of the song also indirectly copied Arias,” wrote the judge.
Sony ATV Latin To Pay Damages
Shakira, who is a bilingual artist, released both English and Spanish versions of the song, but the copyright claim focused on the Spanish version. As a result, Judge Hellerstein dismissed Sony Corporation and Sony Music parent companies as defendants, but found Sony ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos responsible as the labels that distributed the Spanish track. A new lawsuit, to take place before the end of the year, will determine the amount of damages owed.
Shakira herself was not directly involved in the suit, and the singer has not commented on the case.