A $1 million copyright infringement lawsuit has been filed against electronics maker HTC by the estate of soul singer and jazz pianist Nina Simone after the activist and artist’s song “Sinnerman” was jacked by HTC for its YOU campaign.
“Sinnerman”, a staple of movie and TV films, and recorded by scores of musicians, is one of Simone’s most recognizable songs. It was recorded on Simone’s eponymous 1965 album Pastel Blues, was often used to end her sets during her years in Greeenwich Village and was inspired by experiences in Simone’s childhood (her mother took her to Methodist revivals where she witnessed church members confess their sins).
Yes, a brilliant strategist decided to use this song without permission. BUT… we don’t think either parties will have to check their keys before walking into a courtroom. HTC will settle privately and we’ll move onto to the next Simone controversy: a movie about the star starring Zoe Saldana hitting screens in a few months.
Simone died at her home in France in 2003 after battling breast cancer for four years. HTC video below.