March 29, 2016 Update: Case got dismissed with no settlement. When you read below, you will see the defendants had a very strong argument supporting there was no copyright infringement.

Sidney Earl Swanson filed a lawsuit against Sony, MJ Estate, Timbaland and Cory Rooney (defendants) claiming the new version of the “Chicago” song infringed his song “On the Move / On the Edge”. Parties participated in discovery and here are the latest developments.

First of all Cory Rooney have been dismissed from the lawsuit. This makes sense given Swanson claims the new version of “Chicago” song infringes his song and not the original version. The new song – and the allegedly infringing part – seems to be Timbaland’s work and released by Sony and MJ Estate.

The defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment to dimiss the case. Defendants are claiming Swanson’s case is baseless. To prove copyright infringement, Swanson will need to prove that his song was widely disseminated (therefore Timbaland and/or the rest of the defendants had access to it) and his song is substantially similar to the new version of “Chicago”. Defendants deny both and state that there wasn't any infringement.

This is what we learn:


Sidney Earl Swanson claims the track Chicago, from Jackson's recent Xscape album, is a rip off of his own 2002 tune, Come Home On the Move. Swanson has sued Timbaland, Cory Rooney, MJJ Productions and Sony Music. Swanson claims "Defendants copied and incorporated substantial, original portions of the infringed composition in (Chicago)."

I was able to get the complaint document. You can read the document here :

As a short summary 

- Swanson's "Come home on the move" song was created in 1995 and registered in 2002.

- Copyright registration refers to it as "music only"

- Complaint alleges the infringed material is "composition" 

- Timbaland and Rooney is being sued as they are credited as the producers of the song "Chicago"