Mariah Carey got an early Christmas gift. A copyright lawsuit against her by country singer Andy Stone over her hit song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been dropped.
Stone sued Carey and her co-songwriter Walter Afansieff in June for $20 million, accusing the pair of copying a song he claimed he co-wrote of the same name for his band Vince Vance & the Valiants in 1989. Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is from 1994.
The two songs don’t sound alike but have the same name, and Stone said he didn’t give Carey permission to use the name.
The documents, obtained by the PA news agency, state that Carey and her collaborators “knowingly, willfully, and intentionally engaged in a campaign” to infringe Stone’s copyright for the song.
Carey’s song was released on Oct. 28, 1994, as part of her holiday season album “Merry Christmas.” Since then, the song has topped the charts annually, making it one of the most popular modern Christmas songs.
Stone, who sued for copyright infringement pertaining solely to the song’s same titles, claims he co-wrote and recorded the song as well as a music video in Nashville in 1989, according to the court filing.
Sony Music was also named in the suit as a co-defendant, along with Sony Corp. of America. Sony Music released “All I Want for Christmas is You” on Columbia Records.
Attorneys for Stone voluntarily dismissed the case, and Stone can refile the suit in the future.
But Stone faces an uphill battle in winning $20 million from Carey. According to Rolling Sone, there are 177 copyrighted songs with the title “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Christmas Song Is a Gold Mine for Carey
Carey has built a significant amount of her $340 million fortune from “All I Want For Christmas is You.”
The Economist estimated Carey earned $60 million in royalties alone between the song’s 1994 release and 2016.
Since 2016 the song has continued to generate steady money for Carey,
Now on the music streaming platform Spotify, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has earned over $2 million in royalties, according to a study by Broadband Deals — and it’s estimated to bring in an additional $600,000 between November 2019 and this Christmas, Yahoo Finance reported.
In December 2021, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” hit 1 billion streams on Spotify.
Carey has also branded the song. It has inspired a children’s book, an animated film and a new Amazon Music documentary.