A Manhattan federal court judge has ruled that Shakira‘s song “Loca” is a rip-off of another song. In a ruling on Tuesday, August 19, Judge Alvin Hellerstein said that the Spanish version of the single infringed on a 1998 song called “Loca con su Tiguere” by a Dominican songwriter named Ramon Arias Vasquez.
Peaking at the top of the Latin Billboard charts, Shakira’s “Loca” has reportedly sold more than five million copies worldwide. Hellerstein said the song was based on a 2007 song by Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou a.k.a. El Cata which also copied Vasquez’s work. Pou’s version of “Loca con su Tiguere” was also distributed by Sony.
Vazquez previously testified that his “Loca con su Tiguere” was “inspired by his older sister Janette’s relationship with her boyfriend, who was considered a ‘tiguere,’ and with a suitor from a wealthy family.” He then met Pou and showed him the song.
Pou denied Vasquez’s story, claiming the song was inspired by his relationship with his ex-wife.
The Tuesday ruling is a victory for plaintiff Mayimba Music which holds the rights to Vasquez’s work and sued Sony Corp of America and affiliates (the judge eventually found only two of them, Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos, liable for distributing Shakira’s song).
Sony’s attorney declined to comment on the case. A trial on damages will be held later this year.