The producers of B.o.B.’s smash hit “Airplanes,” Jeremy Dussolliet and Tim Sommers, are being sued for copyright infringement along with a slew of other charges, by a songwriter named Christine Dominguez who claims she was cheated out of royalties and received no credit for her contributions to the song.
Dominguez filed the lawsuit against Dussolliet and Sommers (better known as Kinetics & One Love) on January 23 in the United States District Court of New York. The lawsuit claims that the producers asked Dominguez to supply her musical contributions for one of two unfinished versions of the track. Dominguez states that not only did she produce the melody for the hit song, she also wrote the chorus for “Airplanes.” She says that she provided the background vocals and countermelodies, as well.
The lawsuits states, ‘In a transparent effort to keep all the credit and earnings for themselves despite Dominguez’ substantial contribution to the joint work, defendants omitted her from the listing as the author of “Airplanes” on the 2010 release and elsewhere. Nor have defendants accounted to Dominguez for revenues derived, either from the 2010 release, or any other source.”
The production duo released an alternate version of the song in 2009 from their CD “Kinetics & One Love: Fading Back to Normal.” At that time, Dominguez says they credited her for her contributions on the song but never reached an agreement on how much revenue she should receive from the royalties.
In 2010, the team released two versions on B.o.B.’s album “B.o.B. Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” Even though it is B.o.B.’s song, he has not been named in the lawsuit. Rapper Eminem is also featured on another remixed version.
Dominguez is seeking payment from all other sources that generated income from “Airplanes.” In addition to copyright infringement, she is suing for unfair competition, unjust enrichment and failure to account for monies derived from sampling and any other usage of the song. This includes sales from ringtones, CDs and all digital sales derived from the production. —Chanel Clark