A California federal court has issued a complete dismissal of copyright infringement and breach of contract claims filed against Luis Coronel, the 2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards New Artist of the Year, and his record company, Empire Productions Inc.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles found no basis for any of the claims brought by former Empire music producer Manuel Ledesma and his business partner Louis Barraza. The suit cannot be refiled based on yesterday’s ruling.
Mr. Coronel and Empire CEO Arturo Corral previously worked with Mr. Ledesma and Mr. Barraza before the two producers left Empire in 2014. The following year, Mr. Coronel, Mr. Corral and Empire were sued for allegedly infringing copyrights on two songs that Mr. Ledesma composed. They were successfully represented by veteran entertainment copyright attorney Robert E. Allen of McKool Smith in Los Angeles.
The plaintiffs alleged that they were responsible for Mr. Coronel’s reputation as the “Latin Justin Bieber,” and for helping him and Empire land a contract with the larger Del Records to produce the singer’s more mainstream recordings.
In the March 2 ruling by Judge Otis D. Wright II, the court held that the case made by Mr. Ledesma and Mr. Barraza involved nothing more than “threadbare assertions” and that their copyright infringement claims were “simply stating legalese in lieu of offering supporting facts.” The final ruling dismissed all claims with prejudice, preventing the lawsuit from being filed again in any court.
“This lawsuit should never have been filed in the first place, and the court’s ruling shows that there were no facts to support any of the allegations against my clients,” says Mr. Allen, who regularly represents clients in significant copyright issues. “Luis Coronel is one of the most talented and dynamic recording artists anywhere, and the plaintiffs have no right claiming they’re the reason for his success.”
The case is Manuel Ledesma, et al. v. Arturo Corral, et al., No. 2:15-CV-04266.
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