The calendar just turned to June, which means it should still be a couple of months until Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” starts to hit the airwaves at virtually every radio station, television station, and shopping mall across the land. Since its release in 1994, the Christmastime tune has become a favorite amongst fans of the holiday. Now, Carey finds herself embroiled in a legal battle over the song’s name.
Friday, musician Andy Stone filed suit against the pop star alleging Carey and song co-writer Walter Afanasieff lifted the name of their song from one Stone — who performs as part of Vince Vance & The Valiants under the name Vince Vance — released the year prior.
According to the lawsuit, the warring names caused confusion between the songs, despite sharing no lyrics or melodies. Stone is seeking no less than $20 million in damages through the lawsuit. The BBC reports Carey was earned approximately $60 million in royalties since the song was first released.
“Even after communicating the concerns with Defendants, Plai ntiff was unable to come to any agreement over usage of the ‘All I Want for Christmas is You,’ the complaint reads in part. “Subsequently, Plaintiff personally requested that Defendants cease and desist from further distribution of Plaintiff’s work. Despite Plaintiff’s request, Defendants continue to exploit Plaintiff’s work, reaping tremendous financial awards and other pecuniary benefits to the detriment of Plaintiff.”
There are over 100 songs registered with the U.S. Copyright Office called “All I Want for Christmas is You,” many of which were written before the plaintiff’s song. #mariahcarey #titlesarentcopyrightable pic.twitter.com/LPYCQEGMF4
Some copyright attorneys have spoken out against the filing as the titles of songs, movies, books, and other created works aren’t traditionally copyrightable. Those would typically fall under trademark protection giving certain circumstances.
“There are over 100 songs registered with the US Copyright Office called ‘All I Want for Christmas is You,'” copyright lawyer Aaron Moss wrote on Twitter. “Many of which were written before the plaintiff’s song.”
Carey’s song has topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart every year since 2019, largely due its success across various social media platforms.