Whitney Houston biopic sued over copyright infringement

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Whitney Houston biopic sued over copyright infringement

Sony Music Entertainment is taking legal action against four companies behind the making of the 2022 biopic “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody” due to unpaid music licenses.

The lawsuit accuses the producers of dishonoring the contract “after they failed to pay for their licenses to 24 Houston classics including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “How Will I Know,” and “I Will Always Love You,” Reuters reports.

Film financer and production company Black Label Media is one of the companies named in the lawsuit and said it was “one of many investors in this film, should not have been named in the lawsuit, and looks forward to being dismissed from it promptly.”

According to Sony Music, Anthem Films licensed Houston’s music for use on a biopic and soundtrack in 2022.

The lawsuit claims Anthem’s licensing fees were due in July 2023 under their agreement, but the company never paid, according to the complaint.

As part of its lawsuit, Sony Music seeks at least $3.6 million in damages and a court order to stop the alleged infringement.

Speaking previously to Variety, Clive Davis, who signed Whitney to her record contract, said, “I have a mission here. I have a mission to make sure that for all time that the full picture of Whitney Houston is captured in a no-holds-barred film that is musically rich and shows her genius and more of her character than we have seen to date.”

The biopic grossed nearly $60 million worldwide.