“NOBODY GREATER” SONGWRITER
DARIUS PAULK, EMI AND SONY
PREVAIL IN COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CLAIM
A U.S. District Court Judge in New York Dismisses Pittsburgh Man’s
Claim of Copyright Infringement of #1 Gospel Hit “Nobody Greater”
U.S. District Court (Southern District of New York) Judge Richard Sullivan has dismissed a Pittsburgh man’s copyright infringement claim against songwriter Darius Paulk, EMI Christian Music Group and Sony Music Holdings related to Vashawn Mitchell’s #1 Billboard Hot Gospel Songs 2010 chart hit, “Nobody Greater.”
In late summer 2011, aspiring songwriter, Travis Malloy, claimed co-authorship of Paulk’s song and filed a copyright infringement claim against EMI Christian Music Group for releasing Vashawn Mitchell’s blockbuster hit “Nobody Greater” without his permission. The suit also named the writer of “Nobody Greater”, Darius Paulk; and Sony Music Holdings which owns the Verity Records label that licensed the song for its successful “Wow Gospel 2011” double-disc compilation CD.
In his suit, Malloy, argued that he has not received writing credit nor royalties from radio airplay and music sales for the song. Paulk adamantly denies Malloy’s claim to authorship. “I wrote Nobody Greater during a very traumatic period in my life in 2008,” Paulk says. “It’s my testimony. I was laid-off because of downsizing at my job. I had just gotten a car and a new place. Also, my grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. The message of the song reflects my personal struggles and victories. Travis Malloy did not contribute to the creation of this song. I wrote the lyrics and melody by myself in the privacy of my home. His claim is baseless… Truth always comes to light.” When gospel superstar Kirk Franklin won the Stellar Award for Song of the Year in January 2012, he pulled Paulk and Mitchell to the stage with him to accept the award. “That song has ministered to me so deeply,” he said to the audience before looking back at the duo and offering, “… I would be honored to share this award with you guys.”
Since last week when this first released, there was some speculation as to if this claim was accurate. Travis Malloy”s camp stated that this press release was false but that remains to be seen and according to Darius Paulk’s legal team and publicist, this is the truth and nothing but. Here is what Paulk’s publicist, Bill Carpenter, had to say:
If you jump to IV Conclusion of the attached Final ruling, you will see for once and for all
that this case was in fact dismissed on May 16th and that my press release was not a lie.
The confusion for some of you may be that there were two lawsuits, the copyright
infringement case and also an accounting case. It’s the accounting case that
has not been heard by the court yet. That is the case where Travis Malloy has
to prove that he helped co-write the song in order to receive an accounting
of the money the song has earned. However, the copyright infringement case
has been dismissed and there is no option for a new trial because Malloy’s
attorney did not file paperwork within the court’s deadline.
I hope this clarifies things for all who are concerned about the truth of this lawsuit being printed.