Tesh Settles Copyright Flap over Poem
John Tesh has cleared up a messy legal battle with a Missouri mother, who claimed the former “Entertainment Tonight” host and Christian New Age musician ripped off a 9/11 poem she wrote and used it in a song without permission.
The Associated Press reports that terms of the settlement between Stacey Randall, 29, and Tesh, 50, will remain confidential.
Randall’s federal copyright-infringement lawsuit initially claimed that Tesh failed to seek permission to use her poem, titled “Met in the Stairwell,” on his album “Christmas Worship.”
His version, slightly abridged and called “God in the Stairwell,” ran nearly three minutes and was spoken with “creepy haunted house organ” music, the Smoking Gun Web site reported.
“A few days after September 11, I was in bed, unable to sleep. I had a vision of the Lord in the stairwell of the World Trade Center, coming forward to comfort people,” Randall told the Smoking Gun, adding that it took her all of seven minutes to compose the work, which she then posted on her family’s Web site.
“The next morning,” she explained, she “sent e-mails out to a few family members. Within a month or so, the poem had spread around the world.”
As it ricocheted around the globe, Randall’s poem — which she reportedly copyrighted in January 2002 — was often printed without her name attached, just attributed to “Anonymous.”
Tesh claimed in an interview that the poem came to his attention thanks to his wife, Connie Sellecca, who “suggested that I read it during one of my concerts. So one night, I started reading it from stage while I was playing piano, and it was a very emotional thing. The reaction from the audience was incredible, so I just kept playing it night after night.”