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'Steve Harvey Show' Slapped With $42.3M Music Theft Lawsuit

By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 25, 2014 2:55 PM

"The Steve Harvey Show" has been slapped with a $42.3 million lawsuit over allegations that the program stole music owned by the We 3 Kings.

The music publishing company claims that the self-titled show of comedian Steve Harvey used its unlicensed music without its permission and without paying We 3 Kings a dime, reports The Jasmine Brand. We 3 Kings isn't just suing Steve Harvey's show and him personally, the company has also named every single broadcast group and station responsible for airing the allegedly infringing segments.

Does this music theft suit strike any legal chords?

268 Unlicensed Cues

We 3 Kings operates as a self-described "custom music creative house" that creates theme songs and underscores for movies, TV shows, ads, etc. In addition to advertising their work in "Dance Moms" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," We 3 Kings' offers subscribers access to a database of thousands of licensed tracks.

According its suit, We 3 Kings claims that "The Steve Harvey Show" (TSHS) entered into a license agreement to use several of its master recordings and musical composition cues in the first season of the show -- 202 episodes. In order to even sample music, a performer would need both the song and master recording copyrights, which We 3 Kings licensed to Steve Harvey's show.

But the problem wasn't Season One. We 3 Kings claims that TSHS continued to use the musical cues 268 times in Season Two of the show, cues that were now outside of the parties' licensing agreement.

Damages and Injunction

The music production company is requesting $42,310,000 in damages from the unlicensed use of these 268 cues. The figure was calculated as $700.00 per cue X 268 times used X 225 distributors and exhibitors of the TSHS infringing season.

We 3 Kings is also requesting that an injunction be issued preventing TSHS from further use of its music, claiming that it may be the only way to protect its intellectual property rights if the parties it sued go bankrupt.

This isn't the only lawsuit on Steve Harvey's plate right now; Courthouse News Service reports that he's being sued for $20 million in a Dallas contract case.

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