Elton John’s Copyright Woes – International Intellectual Property Law – Case Study #9

Originally posted 2018-11-19 10:38:28


Music legend Elton John is filing his legal documents to dismiss a copyright infringement suit filed in Illinois back in April by singer/songwriter Guy Hobbs. Hobbs alleges that the composer lyricist team of Elton Hohn and Bernie Taupin stole lyrics from his 1983 title “Natasha” for their title “Nikita” released two years later.

John’s “Nikita” is about the unreciprocated love for an East German female body guard, while Hobbs’ lyrics in “Natasha” focuses on an affair with a Russian cruise ship waitress. Not only does Hobbs complain of “significant similarities” between the two, but also claims that John lifted lyrics from his own, including “I need you.”

John has claimed that not only is the suit absolutely “baseless and absurd,” but also misses the “essential legal point,” stressing that Hobbs’ complaint is too vague to legitimize a copyright infringement suit. John has requested that the suit be dismissed, but a judge has yet to rule.

For more information about copyright law, contact the AMD Law Group at www.amdlawgroup.com or (800) 605-0785.


A copyright is a right to prevent others from using your originally authored work. To protect their creative ingenuity, as well as to ensure that they are the only ones who can make use of and profit from their material, authors of artistic or intellectual works have their material copyrighted. Those who have copyrighted material have many exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce the work, distribute copies to the public for sale, and perform the work. Since anything you create can be copyrighted, copyrights can protect endless types of creative work. Some examples are recorded music, books, software codes, video games, paintings, plays, or sculptures.


The Huffington Post.  (August 13, 2012).  Elton John Sued: Singer Rebuffs Accusations Of Copyright
                Infringement As ‘Baseless And Absurd. Retrieved on August 19, 2012 from

Rukkle.  (August 13, 2012).  Elton John Fires Back At Copyright Infringement Allegations.  Retrieved on
                August 19, 2012 from http://rukkle.com/music/elton-john-fires-back-at-copyright-infringement-


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