The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California federal court on August 24, 2022, by Sam Trocki and ML1 Records LLC. according to court documents obtained by Heavy. Bravo’s attorneys haven’t responded to the lawsuit yet. NBCUniversal and Truly Original LLC area also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The song at question is “Lost Children,” which was produced by Trocki and ML1 Records LLC in collaboration with five-time Grammy Award-winner CeeLo Green, according to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the song has had more than 2 million views on YouTube and reached No. 1 on the UK rock single charts and No. 2 on the UK electronic single charts. It was released in 2020.
According to the lawsuit, Trocki is a “s a singer, songwriter, producer, fine artist and fashion designer based in Miami Beach, Florida. For the past two decades, he has written and produced hits with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Benny Blanco, CeeLo Green, Paul Oakenfold, Cam’ron and Neon Hitch.”
The Song Was Played in 2 Episodes of ‘RHOA’
According to the lawsuit, the song was played during two episodes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” The lawsuit states, “Defendants never sought or received plaintiffs permission for an of these uses. Defendants’ uses therefore infringed on plaintiffs’ copyrights. By this action, plaintiffs seek compensation for their damages and injunctive relief.” The lawsuit is filed under the Copyright Act.
The songs were played in the “RHOA” episode titled “The Giving Peach,” during season 13. It was the sixth episode of the season. The song played from 2 minutes to 2:59 of the episode. It also played in season 13, episode 18, “How the Wig Stole Christmas,” from the 12:14 to 12:35 mark. The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing Bravo from continuing to use the song on “RHOA.” The episodes aired in 2021.
According to federal court records, both sides jointly asked a judge to give Bravo and NBCUniversal an extension to file a response to the lawsuit. They now have until October 19, 2022, to file their official response to the suit. Bravo hasn’t commented publicly about the case. “Plaintiffs notified NBCU and Bravo on or about May 14, 2022 of the
infringements. Plaintiffs notified Truly Original of the infringements on or about May 16, 2022. Despite such notification, Defendants continued to infringe on Plaintiffs’ copyrights,” the lawsuit stated.
According to the lawsuit, “At no time have Plaintiffs authorized Defendants to reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works based on, or otherwise exploit all or any portion of the works. Defendants’ unauthorized use constitutes infringement of Plaintiffs copyrights in both the composition and sound recording of the works. Plaintiffs have provided Defendants with proof of the registrations for the Works and has demanded that they cease and desist from continuing to infringe Plaintiff’s copyrights. Defendants, however, have continued to use the Works in RHOA.”
Former ‘RHOA’ Star NeNe Leakes Recently Dropped Her Lawsuit Against Bravo
The lawsuit comes after former “RHOA” star NeNe Leakes dropped her own suit against the network and its parent company, NBCUniversal. Leakes sued them, along with Andy Cohen and other executives, accusing Bravo of racial discrimination. Leakes asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit in August. It was not immediately clear if the lawsuit was settled or if it is being handled privately through arbitration. Bravo’s attorneys argued that Leakes was not able to file a suit in federal court because of her “Real Housewives” contract.
In the lawsuit, Leakes’ lawyers wrote that Bravo, “televises racially segregated workplaces in which racially insensitive and inappropriate conduct is condoned and allowed to fester often creating discriminatory and hostile work environments for diverse talent who are working in their workplaces. … NBC, Bravo, and True have racially segregated the Real Housewives franchise for years. … For years, NBC and Bravo have run The Real Housewives as a segregated franchise where certain shows are treated as white shows and others as Black, with little if any overlap or mixing between the two. The segregated nature of the franchise is reminiscent of the early days of ‘separate but equal’ – that is, the shows are racially separated, purported to be equal, but in fact they are not.”
Leakes is now facing her own lawsuit in Gwinnett County court in Georgia. Photography by Ace sued Leakes, accusing her of failing to pay a $1,000 bill after the photographer was hired to take photos during events at Leakes’ restaurant, The Linnethia Lounge. Leakes hasn’t commented about the lawsuit.