Despite the tragic death of Juice WRLD earlier this month, members of the punk-pop band Yellowcard are continuing their aggressive lawsuit against the rapper.
Juice WRLD may be dead-and-gone, but that doesn’t mean a lawsuit against him will be retired. According to legal documents shared with Digital Music News this morning, members of early-2000s punk-pop group Yellowcard have decided to continue their massive, $15 million copyright infringement lawsuit against the dead rapper.
Yellowcard members Peter Mosley, Ryan Key, Sean Wellman-Mackin and Longineu Parson — represented by Richard Busch — allege that Juice WRLD (aka Jarad Higgins) blatantly copied their song “Holly Wood Died” on his smash hit, “Lucid Dreams”. Immediately after Juice WRLD’s overdose on the morning of December 8th, Busch told Digital Music News that the litigation was on hold while the group ‘digested’ the tragic news.
Now, it’s full-steam ahead — though Yellowcard is offering an extension for Juice WRLD’s collaborators to respond. Eerily, the lawsuit still names ‘Jarad A. Higgins p/k/a Juice WRLD’ as the lead defendant, though other living defendants include Danny Lee Snodgrass Jr. p/k/a Taz Taylor, Taz Taylor Beats, BMG Rights Management, Artist 101 Publishing Group, Nicholas Mira, Nick Mira Publishing, Electric Feel Music, Kobalt Music Services America, Songs of Universal, Grade A Productions, and Interscope Records.
The other defendants are also copyright owners and collaborators on “Lucid Dreams,” and were listed on Yellowcard’s original filing back in October.
The song lyric melodies do bear a resemblance, though claims of intentional copyright infringement by Juice WRLD might be a stretch.
Without Juice WRLD to testify, the band’s case could become far more complicated. Part of the problem is that “Holly Wood Died” was released in 2006, when Jarad Higgins was about 7 years old. Whether Higgins knew that “Holly Wood Died” (or Yellowcard) even existed at that age is now a mystery, and a critical detail that may be impossible to prove. Yellowcard was relatively well-known among ’emo-screamo’ fans at its peak, but nowhere near a household name.
As for the extension, the defendant group originally had until December 12th to respond. But given that Juice WRLD died just days before that deadline, it’s understandable that a response wasn’t received. Now, team Yellowcard has asked the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to approve an extension until February 4th, 2020. The extension request was approved by U.S. District Court judge Consuelo B. Marshall.
Richard Busch did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
More as this develops.