'Idol' Winner Hicks Sues Producer
He wants to block release of old songs to iTunes
Hicks is suing a Nashville producer named William Smith to block the release of three songs Smith helped him record in 2001. In the complaint, filed earlier this week in a federal court in Alabama, Hicks alleges that Smith released the songs on iTunes without the performer's consent (the complaint is online at The Smoking Gun).
Smith wrote to Hicks' lawyer, Michael J. Douglas, in July, notifying Douglas of his intention to post a Hicks-penned song called "The Fall" on iTunes and asserting his legal right to do so. The e-mail also suggests that Smith had some dirt on Hicks that he might be willing to share with the public.
"If Taylor does not got negitive [sic] ... then anything in his past that would reflect negtivly [sic] upon him will stay there," Smith wrote. "I have no desire to harm him, only help him and myself."
In an interview with The Smoking Gun, Smith denies that he was threatening Hicks and says he's turned down offers to dish on the "Idol" winner's past. "Taylor was a young musician, so you can imagine what he was involved in," Smith says.
The suit claims that after Smith released "The Fall" and two other songs, "In Your Time" and "Son of a Carpenter," to iTunes in late July, Hicks got a restraining order to remove the songs from the download service. They settled the matter on Aug. 16, with Hicks agreeing to drop a motion for an injunction.
Soon after that, though, the three songs showed up on iTunes again, leading to the new court action. A judge granted another restraining order on Wednesday, and the songs have been removed. The suit seeks an injunction against Smith to stop him from ever releasing the songs again, as well as any money he made from their sale on iTunes and unspecified damages.