'American idol' winner Hicks sues record producer

MUMBAI: The winner of the fifth season of US broadcaster Fox's music based reality show American Idol Taylor Hicks has filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the release of his first recordings.

The soul singer has been granted a temporary restraining order, which will prevent producer William Smith from cashing in on Hicks' early tracks. Hicks hopes that the court will make the injunction permanent. He is also seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit filed against Smith.

Media reports state that Smith has been using ITunes to sell some very old tracks that Hicks recorded back in 1997, including a song titled "The Fall". E! Online has quoted Smith as saying, "I have the legal right to use these recordings for a period of seven years to further his musical career. I am not going to radio, I am going to iTunes. This is the best way to make this single a number one hit."

Hicks has sued Smith and his production company for more than $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Reports indicate that the singer's lawyer received a letter in July from Smith stating that he planned to release a song on iTunes that Hicks had laid down in 1997 called The Fall.

Hicks stated in his complaint that Smith has no ownership rights to any of the songs in question, and he is maintaining that Smith is in violation of the agreement the two arrived at after the songs unlawfully hit iTunes the first time around.

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