Songwriter Andy Stone co-wrote a song titled 'All I want for Christmas is You' five years before Mariah Carey's 1994 hit by the same name. Nearly thirty years later he is suing her for $20m, claiming copyright infringement.
The complaint says Mr Stone's lawyers first contacted Ms Carey and her co-defendants last year, but were "unable to come to any agreement". It is not unusual for different songs to have the same name, and the United States Copyright Office lists 177 entries on its website under the title All I Want for Christmas is You.
There's a lot of talk here about things that aren't copyright infringement ("caused confusion", "unauthorised appropriation of goodwill", "Carey did not ask permission to use the title"), and little that might be. In fact, those complaints make it sound like a trademark lawsuit, an entirely different thing. But TMZ, the AP and others to whom the lawsuit was sent have not apparently published a copy of it.
In any case, the songs sound completely different and share no lyrics, no music, no samples, indeed nothing but the title and general festive spirit. His song reached 55 on the US County chart a year before Mariah's came out, and saw solid airplay on country radio for years to come. So who knows? Roll the dice, maybe get a settlement. Here are the two tracks: