A copyright infringement claim filed by super-producer Mervyn Warren, the co-publisher and arranger of “Come Unto Me”; Omerror Dawson, the writer of “Come Unto Me”; and Award-winning recording artists Take 6 members Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Mark Kibble, Claude McKnight, and David Thomas, against the artist H.E.R. and the co-writers of H.E.R.’s smash hit “Could’ve Been” has been settled.
Take 6 has received 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, numerous honors, and they have been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The album that included the song “Come Unto Me” earned them one of their 10 GRAMMY Awards.
“Could’ve Been” sold over two million copies, appeared on two H.E.R. albums and was nominated for several awards. The near dozen defendants in the case were Dernst Emile II, Hue Wayne Strothers, Gabriella “H.E.R.” Sarmiento, David A. Harris, Sony Sounds (a division of Sony Music Publishing (US) LLC, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI April Music Publishing (“Her Publishing”), Next Up Music Group, Tailored 4U Music, Universal Music Corporation (“UMG”) and WC Music Corp.
A careful listen of the two songs, according to Take 6, shows the similarities, (See https://vimeo.com/440443677 ) and led to the group filing the action.
Mervyn Warren commented, “I’m grateful that this matter has been settled, and I thank our friends, families, and fans who’ve stood with us and have encouraged us along the way.”
Representing the plaintiffs was James L. Walker, Jr. of Atlanta-based Walker & Associates. Walker had no comment on the action only to state, “I’m just honored to represent such a legendary group as Take 6, Omerror Dawson and the incredible Mervyn Warren. Now they can get back to making great music that I have loved for over four decades.”
Ed Keane, longtime manager of the R&B, jazz and gospel sextet, said, “Take 6 and I are pleased that we have been able to resolve this case and have no further comment. I would like to thank James L. Walker, Jr., his firm Walker & Associates, and the staff and team of lawyers, for their most capable and diligent work on this case. The group can now return to the studio and continue to record their next album which will be their unique renditions of transcendent jazz tunes.”
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
ABOUT WALKER & ASSOCIATES
James L. Walker, Jr. serves as the managing partner of J. Walker and Associates, LLC, a firm specializing in entertainment and corporate law. In addition to litigation and negotiating contracts on behalf of more than 300 high profile clients within the sports and entertainment field, he regularly represents buyers and sellers in structuring, negotiating, financing, and documenting sophisticated business acquisitions. Among other notable clients, Walker and Associates has represented the likes of Shirley Caesar, Aretha Franklin, Pastor Michael McClure, Jr., DMX, and KCamp among others.
Walker holds undergraduate and law degrees from Howard University and a Masters in Divinity from Yale University. He has taught adjunct classes and workshops at the law schools of University of Connecticut, Yale, Harvard, Boston College and George Washington University. Walker is the author of This Business of Urban Music, the first reference book about the legal and business aspects of urban and gospel music and has also been a regular guest commentator for FOX, CBS, CNN, and BET. For more information, visit: www.WalkerandAssoc.com.