Hicks Sues to Keep Early Songs off Market

Taylor has a federal judge yank his pre-Idol recordings from iTunes

Taylor Hicks has won round one of his legal effort to stop a producer from selling songs he recorded before his American Idol victory.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins issued a ruling temporarily barring Nashville producer William Smith from selling songs written and sung by Hicks after two of them appeared on the iTunes Web site, the Associated Press reports.

Smith told the AP on Thursday that the songs are no longer for sale. An Aug. 30 hearing is scheduled to determine whether the order will be made permanent.

In his legal filing, Hicks claimed that Smith tried to profit by selling three songs that Hicks wrote and recorded with Smith: “The Fall,” “Son of a Carpenter” and “In Your Time.” Hicks said Smith lacks the rights to the music.

Smith said he has signed contracts with Hicks, and that he released the songs mainly to help fend off critics’ bad reviews of Hicks’s single, “Do I Make You Proud,” released after he won Idol in May.

“It aggravated me because I knew what a gifted performer and writer he is,” Smith told the AP. “I love Taylor Hicks, and for three months I was refuting the bad press he was getting.”

Hicks claims the songs were recorded in 1997, but Smith said Hicks recorded them in June 2001. Smith also said that, while he didn’t know how many copies of the songs were sold, Hicks will receive any royalties he is owed.

Hicks’ attorney, Michael J. Douglas, said in a sworn statement that the recordings were low-quality demos and that selling them could tarnish Hicks’s reputation and cause him “immense irreparable financial harm.”

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