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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Elizabeth Williams. Mick Jagger on Stand "Just Another Night" Trial, April 1988. Watercolor and porous point pen on tan paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (107.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51155 © Elizabeth Williams
Gift of Tom Girardi

Mick Jagger in Copyright Infringement Case

During the course of a copyright infringement trial, which began on April 18, 1988, in White Plains, New York, Mick Jagger performed for the courtroom. Reggae singer Patrick Alley sued Jagger for seven million dollars over the song "Just Another Night," claiming the chorus's lyrics were similar to his own song. Judge Gerard L. Goettel gave instructions to the jury, saying that Alley had to prove that Jagger had prior access to his song and that the two were substantially similar, stating "accidental similarity is not actionable plagiarism." On April 26, 1988, the six-person jury found Mick Jagger innocent of copyright infringement.