Hobbs v. John

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 12-3652
Decision Date: 
July 17, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in dismissing for failure to state claim, plaintiff’s copyright infringement action alleging that defendants’ song “Nikita” was substantially similar to plaintiff’s “Natasha” song about impossible love between Western man and Communist woman during Cold War. While both songs contained similar-idea of impossible love affair, each song told different story, which made them dissimilar for purposes of instant infringement action. Moreover, although both songs contained similar elements and phrases such as “never,” “to hold you,” and “you’ll never know,” such elements are too commonplace in popular love songs and did not share enough unique features to give rise to breach of duty not to copy another’s work.