CHICAGO (CN) – A songwriter claims Jefferson Airplane stole his song and released an unauthorized copy on the 2007 album, “Sweeping Up the Spotlight: Live at Fillmore East 1969.” Syl Johnson says he co-wrote and recorded the song “Dresses Too Short” in 1968, and that Jefferson Airplane’s recent album includes the song “You Wear Your Dresses Too Short,” from the 1969 concert.
In his federal complaint, Johnson claims the Airplane knew he had written the song, but credited defendant band member Marty Balin as sole songwriter, and profited from it.
Johnson says he registered a copyright for “Dresses Too Short” in 2009. He claims Balin fraudulently received a copyright for “You Wear Your Dresses Too Short” in 1992, and has received royalties from it.
Johnson sued Jefferson Airplane Inc., Marty Balin, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, BMG Music and Legacy Recordings.
He seeks disgorgement, reassignment of copyright, royalties, penalties and an injunction. He is represented by Douglas Morrison with Morrison Mix.