Bruno Mars is having a pretty good year. He just won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Jukebox, and he'll be performing on the biggest stage in music at Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show. His luck may be changing, assuming that an awesomely absurd lawsuit filed against him by an unknown songwriter comes through.
Mars and Gym Class Heroes vocalist Travie McCoy are being sued by Demetrius Orlandus Procter-apparently a performer himself-over the hit single "Billionaire," which McCoy sang for his solo album in 2010 and that Mars had a hand in writing. Procter claims that he has held the copyright to both the music and lyrics from "Billionaire" since March 31, 2011. That's not a typo-he has apparently owned the song since a year after it was released.
Procter alleges that the pair (along with Mars' songwriting collective the Smeezingtons), were "willful and intentional" in stealing the song from him. He also provided a legitimate copyright for a 2000 music collection titled Frisky Vol. 1 to 30 (Tapes), which had no apparent connection to the single in question. Most interesting is that Procter didn't put any dollar amount on what he was owed, but rather requested McCoy and Mars take charge of an effort to "destroy all copies of Plaintiffs' Recording that Defendants have downloaded onto any computer hard drive or server without Plaintiffs' authorization and shall destroy all copies of that downloaded recording transferred onto any physical medium or device."
So yes. If Procter wins, you may soon receive an e-mail from Mars or McCoy demanding that you either wipe that mp3 from your computer, or destroy your physical copy of McCoy's album Lazarus. The good news is that Procter probably won't win this suit, because if his dates are correct, Mars and McCoy travelled into the future to steal a song from him. And frankly, if they went through that much effort, we'll let them have it.