Aug
15

Fake Outlaw Justin Moore Accused of Stealing ‘Backwoods’ Song

August 15, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  21 Comments

Fake country music “Outlaw” Justin Moore has been served papers for a copyright infringement lawsuit stemming from his 2009 laundry list song “Backwoods” released on his debut self-titled album. Also named in the suit is the Country Music Anti-Christ Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records label who released the song.

Louisiana fiddle player Britton Curry and songwriter Bobby Carmichael claim that they wrote the song in 2003, and registered the song with the US Copyright Office. When attempting to sell the song in Nashville in 2005, Curry and Carmichael say that another songwriter Jamie Paulin “heard and/or secured the song” and took it for his own. Jamie Paulin, along with Justin Moore are listed as co-writers on “Backwoods”, along with Jeremy Stover who is a co-writer on many of Moore’s songs. Apparently the original song has nearly identical lyrics, pitch, and rhythm to “Backwoods”. “The lawsuit speaks for itself,” says Bobby Carmichael’s attorney.

Carmichael and Curry are asking for $150,000 each for each copyright infringement on the song. “Backwoods” has been downloaded 300,000 times, rose to #6 on the Billboard country chart, and the album it appears on has sold half a million copies.

Justin Moore inserted himself right in the middle of the debate about country music’s “new Outlaws” when he released an album and song called “Outlaw Like Me” in June of 2011. The album was generally panned by critics (including this one) for being rife with country music stereotypes and laundry list songs, just like “Backwoods”.

21 Comments to “Fake Outlaw Justin Moore Accused of Stealing ‘Backwoods’ Song”

  • To me why would anyone sit around 3 years before “they claim” it was theirs.
    Maybe it’s cause of that $300,000 royalty?

    I have songs copyrighted, and I wouldn’t wait 3 years to sit around if someone stole a song of mine.

       0 likes

    • This could be a total cash grab by the plaintiffs, I really have no idea, but according to the Tennessean (the story I linked to above { http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120813/BUSINESS/308130058/Songwriter-sues-over-Backwoods-?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1 }) the plaintiff Bobby Carmichael had no idea the song existed until he heard it on the radio in February of this year. That may seem unrealistic, but I can say for sure I had never heard “Backwoods” until today, and I’m always on the lookout for laundry list songs to roast. Songwriters accusing other songwriters of ripping off songs happens all the time, but for the claims to make it to court usually means there’s at least a case, because to bring the case in the first place costs money.

         0 likes

      • It just sounds fishy…But to be Honest I just found your site (great place, I’m 27 and love traditonal country music).

        Toby Keith god love him love his “Bullets in the gun” but how did not Robert Earl Keen did not sue him for copying his song “the party never ends”?

        Also Blake Shelton had a song that had the same music as an 80′s song.

           1 likes

        • For something to be considered copyright infringement you need more than just a general theme (Modern day bonny and clyde scenario where Bonny ends up winning out) There needs to be a clear melodic infringement (and there is absolutely none of that between the two songs; or some lyircs that are verbatim or nearly verbatim taken (Other than saying “Cards are on the table” which isn’t even an original phrase, there’s none of that either.)

          It’s pretty clear that TK (or his songwriters) borrowed aspects from Road Goes on Forever, but it’s not plagiarism.

             0 likes

      • any numbers of lawyers will take a civil suit on a contingency basis for a percentage of the winnings IF they win. if not, oh well.

           0 likes

        • Yes, but why would a serious attorney (which the attorney appears to be in this case) decide to spend tens, if not hundreds of hours for no money up front if there was no way they would win?

          Sometimes, of course, the hope is that there would be a nuisance suit to get the labels to settle. However, most labels have in house counsels who will fight these suits even if it might make sense for them to settle in the short term, solely to prevent the nuisance suits.

          I couldn’t find a copy of the lawsuit, but according to the news articles, it claims the lyrics are nearly identical and they had filed a copyright on the original, so it will be pretty easy to prove.

          All this being said, assuming the song was a rip off, it appears that Justin Moore never took credit for the song, so it’s just his songwriter who did something wrong. Not that I like Justin Moore, but even if the song was a total copyright infringement, I wouldn’t hold it against him.

             0 likes

          • We first have to clear up this myth of:
            “but for the claims to make it to court usually means there’s at least a case, because to bring the case in the first place costs money.”

            “Yes, but why would a serious attorney (which the attorney appears to be in this case) decide to spend tens, if not hundreds of hours for no money up front if there was no way they would win?

            1. To file a civil complaint takes little effort if you are an attorney. You use boiler plate complaints and just change names. It may cost a couple hundred to file it.

            2. Filing a suit doesn’t mean a thing besides you have it on the books. Given this was 3ish years ago, I’m guessing some statute was nearing so they had to file to protect that.

            So this attorney has done very very little work to this point. And he may not have to do much more if they do settle on something, which may end in confidentiality anyway and we won’t know about it.

            What I’m confused about is, in the blog, it states:
            “When attempting to sell the song in Nashville in 2005, Curry and Carmichael say that another songwriter Jamie Paulin “heard and/or secured the song” and took it for his own. Jamie Paulin, along with Justin Moore are listed as co-writers on “Backwoods”

            It sounds like Paulin owns the song, if he owns it, can’t he do what he wants with it? Going to be tough to jump this hurdle, but attorneys file complaints all the time. In fact, some file everything, no matter what, just as a strategy. Means very little.

               0 likes

          • One other thing, about how the legal/civil world works.. if they are asking for $150K each, chances are they will accept about $15K each to settle.

            Filing complaints means nothing, initial demands mean even less. This gets some press, that is about all it really is worth.

               0 likes

  • Surprise.

       0 likes

  • I actually enjoy Justin Moore and both of his albums. I look forward to hearing more of this story….hope he didn’t steal it.

       0 likes

  • If there were any justice in the world, everyone would be trying to prove they had nothing to do with writing that monstrosity.

       12 likes

  • Good grief, whoever wrote this monstrosity, they don’t deserve money from it, at least not that much money.

       1 likes

  • By the way: who goes into the woods and sets up a friggin’ bar?! No one does that!

       2 likes

    • Its called a tailgate

         0 likes

      • I meant an actual, physical, wooden bar, like in the video. Besides, most tail gates seem to take place at sporting events, which tend to not be in the woods.

           1 likes

        • Have you ever been to a party in the small town Jamie grew up in?? We always used the tailgate for the bar up in the woods.

             0 likes

  • Hey now check this out… Would it not enhance his “Outlaw” cred if in fact it is determined that he did steal the song? Maybe this is a cleverly thought out marketing device? Then who’s the fake Outlaw? Huh? Just sayin’…

    FYI… Also heard he used to cut line for the water fountain between classes in 4th grade.

       3 likes

  • Triggerman is right there is some merit to the suit, even if the lawyer took the case on a contingency; it costs the lawyer money to take cases like that and lose. REK could have sued Toby Keith but choose not do and instead put his feelings to music with the song the road goes on and on and on on the ready for confetti album.

       1 likes

  • Since pretty much every uptempo country song sounds the same now (same lyrics and everything), expect more of this in coming months.

       2 likes

  • Pray that every single person involved in this situation is sucked into a black hole and ejected at the other end of the universe.

       3 likes

  • whoever wrote this article is a moron lol im just trying to figure out the whole fake outlaw thing im pretty sure he meets the definition just saying better term would be modern outlaw hes the only person in country music that is in fact country music the rest are a bunch of pussy pop singers with cowboy hats

       3 likes

Leave a comment

Del Maguey
Old Soul Radio Show
Lucette
Elam McKnight

Categories

Archives