The Knack Sues Apple, Amazon … and the World

Twenty years later and BAM! Lawsuit!

The Knack is suing Apple, Amazon, Yahoo, RealNetworks, Napster – and rap group Run DMC – for copyright infringement, based on the distribution of Run DMC’s 1986 song “It’s Tricky,” which is alleged to have used an unauthorized sample of The Knack’s “My Sharona.” As if that weren’t enough, they’ve named Russel Simmons and a handful of music publishers and record labels in the suit just to make sure they’ve covered all 20 years worth of bases. (full story)

Seems like a silly lawsuit, but what doesn’t these days?

  • Oh, this is just ridiculous! When the news of the suit first broke, it was just Run DMC they were going after.

    They won’t win anyway. No guidelines regarding sampling even existed in 1986, when “It’s Tricky” was created.

  • Big_Star


    Of course there were guidelines for sampling in place in 1986!

    Sound recordings received their own copyright in 1979; sampling a recording is an infringement on the phonoright of a recording.

    I think it is an interesting case- if you listen to the tracks, it is pretty obvious that the intro to “My Sharona” is being used in the recrding of “It’s Tricky.”

    I don’t believe The Knack will survive on the copyright of the composition, but it is fairly obvious they are correct on the phonoright issue. whether ior not it will win in a court is up to Federal judges; once a court case hits the trial state, all bets are off.

    My guess is that this will be settled prior to going to court, but I believe Fieger and The Knack have a solid case.

  • Tastes differ… James