Jacko Loses Lawsuit

Michael Jackson, in composing his song “Will You Be There,” plagiarized an Italian songwriter, an Italian judge ruled Tuesday. Judge Mario Frigenti immediately suspended a $2,200 fine but ordered the American pop star to pay court costs, which are likely to be considerable because the case has taken years to progress through the Italian court system, Italian state TV reported. The trial began in 1995, two years after Al Bano, a veteran songwriter and singer, claimed Jackson stole part of the musical motif of his song “I Cigni di Balaka,” or “The swans of Balaka,” produced in 1987. Jackson’s “Dangerous” album, which includes “Will You Be There,” dates to 1991.

  • One of Jackson’s lawyers, Alberto Seganti, said he will appeal. “There is no proof of plagiarism,” the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Seganti as saying. In a hearing in Rome two years ago Jackson told the court there was some similarity between the two songs, “but it’s completely coincidental.”
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