Joel Bosch alleges that Sony Music infringed his copyright by naming a compilation after his famous ’90s song. But are his claims an overreach?
Ah, copyright infringement. Sometimes it’s blatant and obvious. Other times harder to pick apart. This might be an example of the latter.
Enter Puerto Rican songwriter Joel Bosch, who recently sued Sony Music. The lawsuit alleges that Sony infringed his copyright by naming a compilation album after Bosch’s famous ’90s song. Bosch, better known as Taino, is famous for the song he wrote in the mid-1990s called ‘Yo Soy Boricua Pa’ Que Tú Lo Sepas’.
The phrase means, ‘I’m Puerto Rican, just so you know,’ with ‘Boricua’ being a term for a Puerto Rican person.
According, the song itself has grown into a social statement of proud Puerto Ricans from all over the world. It’s often heard at major events, including the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York. It’s an anthem, which makes the next part tricky.
In 2014, Sony Music released the compilation album with the title, ‘Yo Soy Boricua Pa Que Tu Lo Sepas,’ which of course uses the same phrase.
The album is a collection of tracks by famous Puerto Rican artists, with the anthem apparently viewed as a general term instead of a copyrighted phrase.
Bosch alleges that Sony’s use of the title is copyright infringement. This is because ‘Yo Soy Boricua Pa’ Que Tú Lo Sepas’ is also the key lyric in his song.
This is now a serious case. Bosch’s lawsuit reads: “Plaintiff’s copyrighted musical composition is centered around the lyric ‘Yo Soy Boricua Pa’ Que Tú Lo Sepas’ which forms the chorus of the composition and is a significant part of the original musical composition. Sony has used plaintiff’s lyrics as the title of its musical compilation. Sony has copied and reproduced plaintiff’s lyrics in its product, in the packaging, inserts, and CD”.
Actually, this is the third lawsuit filed by Bosch this year in relation to his song. For allegedly using his musical work in advertising content, he has previously sued T-Mobile and Coca-Cola.