Italian Court Rules Against Prince In Plagiarism Case
Published Jan 13, 2009Prince has landed himself in a bit of legal hot water following a decision by an Italian court that the Purple One is guilty of plagiarism.
In a recent judgment, the court ruled that Prince's 1994 track "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" borrowed "heavily" from the song "Takin' Me to Paradise," which was written by Italian songwriters Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino in 1983. Bergonzi and Vicino brought the charge against Prince in the 1990s but have only now made their case public.
The latest judgment against Prince overturns a 2003 ruling that he did not plagiarize but according to Italian law, a further "third degree ruling" is needed before the sentence can be enforced, which may take several more years. In the meantime, Prince must stop distributing the song in Italy and may have to eventually pay back royalties to Bergonzi and Vicino, as well as their publishers.
In an interview with Billboard, Bergonzi said, "Our song was first released in 1983, at the height of the Italian dance boom and it appeared on assorted compilations that were distributed internationally.
"When we first heard Prince's song we immediately took action, but this case has been dragging on for 15 years and it isn't over yet, such is the slowness of the Italian legal system. We only decided to go public with our story now."
Prince has not commented publicly on the case.