Juice WRLD Surviving Family Members Could Face a $15 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Yellowcard lead singer Ryan Key
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Yellowcard lead singer Ryan Key
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Yellowcard lead singer Ryan Key, a lead plaintiff against Juice WRLD et. al.

Despite the rapper’s untimely death, Juice WRLD family members could find themselves battling a $15 million copyright infringement lawsuit starting in March.

Before Juice WRLD’s shocking death from a massive overdose, the rapper was being sued by early-2000s emo-punk band Yellowcard for an estimated $15 million.  Just days after the rapper’s death, the band decided to continue their litigation efforts, with attorney Richard Busch noting that other defendants besides Juice WRLD (aka Jarad Higgins) were liable for copyright theft.

“My clients are certainly torn about proceeding, and understand the optics involved,” Busch told Digital Music News in late December. “But it is important to remember that this lawsuit was filed before this tragic event, and was filed because all of the defendants (and there are two other writers and several music publishers and record labels), profited off of what we believe was clear copying and infringement of Yellowcard’s work.”

Despite this, Jarad Higgins remained listed as the top defendant, even after his death. Two months later, his name still hasn’t been removed. Now, the question being deliberated is whether Higgins should be removed as a defendant entirely, or whether substitutes — which could include various surviving family members — should be left to fight this battle as representatives of the rapper’s estate.

The case revolves around Juice WRLD’s smash hit “Lucid Dreams,” which Yellowcard claims is a copy of their 2006 song, “Holly Wood Died.”

Other defendants in the case include Grade A Productions, Taz Taylor, Nicholas Mira, BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Services, and Interscope Records. Those defendants have pushed for extensions to respond, ostensibly given the disruptive death of Higgins. But none of Higgins’ surviving family members, which could constitute the rapper’s estate, have responded to the suit.

Perhaps the reason is obvious: Juice WRLD died less than two months ago. And during that period, Yellowcard has refused to pause its legal action against the deceased rapper. Accordingly, the remaining defendants filed a ‘Statement of Death‘ with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last week to deal with the situation.  

That prompted judge Consuelo B. Marshall to demand that Yellowcard determine whether Jarad A. Higgins should be removed from the lawsuit entirely, or if a substitute should be named.

The substitute could be a representative or family member of the rapper, who would be forced to defend against the charges.

“The matter before the Court is the Statement of Fact of Death of Defendant Jarad A. Higgins p/k/a Juice WRLD (‘Higgins’) filed by Defendants,” Marshall recently wrote. “The parties shall notify the Court, in writing, no later than February 10, 2020, whether ‘substitution of the proper party’ is necessary in light of the death of Defendant Higgins or whether the action shall proceed ‘only against the remaining parties’…”

Just this (Tuesday) morning, that deadline was extended to March 4th.

Yellowcard’s lineup has undergone several changes since the early 2000s, though the Plaintiffs in this case are William Ryan Key, Peter Michael Mosely, Longineu Warren Parsons, and Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin. The lawsuit itself was initially filed on October 21st, just weeks before the rapper’s death.

Richard Busch has not responded to the latest filings and deadline extensions.


10 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Fuck yellow card and copyright law.
    I hope this industry uses itself into oblivion.

  2. lllmmmfffaaaooo

    You fucking retards wouldn’t know copyright infringement if it was in the drugs you’re all taking.
    Juice used a beat made famous by a legend rapper and copied the lyrical melody from Yellowcard. That’s enough for a copyright infringement. You’re all fucking retarded. Keep listening to your sad overdose music. The nerve of some of you non-musician, uneducated fuckwads is astounding.

    • JM

      You wouldn’t know respect from disrespect because all I see in that comment of yours is disrespect.

  3. piece of shit

    all I hear that is similar is the beginning, but so many famous people have some similarities comparing to other songs
    yellowcard fan lol