Earlier this week, an old hair band called Kid Rocker accused Poison, and especially guitarist C.C. Deville, for stealing the riffs that eventually became the hits "Talk Dirty to Me" and "I Won't Forget You." It took over 25 years for the copyright infringement lawsuit to finally materialize, and less than a week for Bret Michaels and company to comment on the accusations. According to the Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood Esq. blog, Poison says Kid Rocker's claims have no merit, and that they'll seek to dismiss the lawsuit.
"Poison will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint," Poison's attorney Mark D. Passin said. "Obviously, if the Poison songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by Plaintiffs [Kid Rocker's Billy McCarthy and James Stonich], they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago when Poison released the albums on which the songs are embodied. It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits." Lawyers are the only people who ever use the word "baseless."
There's also the whole statue of limitations thing: Can someone be sued for copyright infringement over a quarter-century after the incident happened? Kid Rocker's lawyer talked about an obscure Illinois court case -- Taylor v. Meirick -- that ruled if the infringement is still taking place today -- and since Poison still sells copies of Look What the Cat Dragged In, it is -- then there is no time frame for filing a lawsuit.
However, Poison's attorney points out that a district court later ruled that, in the case of Taylor v. Meirick, plaintiffs are only eligible for the past three years' worth of damages, not the past 25 years, except for situations where the plaintiffs didn't know they could file a lawsuit. And it's hard to fathom a scenario where Kid Rocker was spending the past two decades in their local tavern, staring morosely into their beers, saying "Man, if only there was some way we could get money from those Poison guys who stole our songs." More likely though, Kid Rocker's case is complete nonsense, or "baseless," and the lawsuit will be dismissed.