LOS ANGELES (Northern California Record) – Meat Loaf, as one of his most famous hits suggests, would do anything for love. However, he may have been willing to steal the lyrics of the song "I'd Do Anything For Love," according to a lawsuit filed in federal court 24 years after the iconic tune's release.
Valley Village-based Enclosed Music filed the copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District court for the Western Division of California's Central District alleging that "I’d Do Anything For Love" was stolen from two songwriters the company says it represents. The lawsuit alleges the song from Meat Loaf's 1993 release "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell," originally was written and copyrighted by Jon Dunmore Sinclair and Mike Molina, whose catalog Enclose Music owns.
The lawsuit names songwriter James Richard Steinman, who wrote the tune, as a defendant along with Michael Lee Aday, formerly Marvin Lee Aday, who is more popularly known as the singer "Meat Loaf".
Meat Loaf and Steinman collaborated with producer Todd Rundgren to release their first album, "Bat Out of Hell" in 1977, which sold more than 30 million copies and making Rolling Stone Magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, ranking at No. 343.
After a long period of Meat Loaf and Steinman not getting along, which included trademark litigation, "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" was released, which Steinman wrote and produced and Rundgren arranged backing vocals. The popularity of that album was due, in no small part, its leadoff single "I’d Do Anything for Love," in which Meat Loaf croons "I’d do anything for love" and then adds the enigmatic caveat, "but I won’t do that."
In 2003, Meat Loaf made "Bat Out of Hell III" without Steinman, who had suffered health issues.
"I’d Do Anything for Love" has much in common "[I’d do] Anything for You", which Sinclair and Molina wrote in 1989, according to the lawsuit. "The original song and the infringing song share various traits that render both substantially similar," the lawsuit said. "Both songs share a similar chord progression. However, the portions of each work that drive the recognizability([he distinct nature] of both songs are the chorus and melody as they relate to the lyrics, "I would do anything for..." The infringing song essentially copied the 'soul' of the original work, which renders both pieces substantially similar."
Steinman had access to the song by Molina and Sinclair, the latter then represented by attorney Howard Siegel who also represented Steinman, according to the lawsuit. "The concurrent representation of two songwriter clients lends an inference that, during a visit with Mr. Siegel, Mr. Steinman would have had a reasonable opportunity to view, hear, and/or copy the original song before composing the infringing song," the lawsuit said.
Enclosed Music's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including combined statutory damages of at least $180,000 per infringement. That could turn out to be a substantial amount of money because "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, according to the lawsuit.