Controversy over who really is responsible for the hit line-dance record, “Cha-Cha Slide” has reached the federal courts.
On March 31, Willie Perry, Jr., known as DJ Casper, and Jerome Haywood filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against M.O.B. Music and Marvel Thompson and Kapiece Tyrus, two alleged gang-members, for copyright infringement.
The suit claims that Perry wrote the original version of the “Cha-Cha Slide” for his nephew who was a fitness trainer at a Bally’s Total Fitness location in Chicago. The song became so popular that Perry re-recorded the song and released a public version of the song entitled “Casper Slide Part 2.”
The suit goes on to say that in March 2000 Perry, with Haywood’s assistance, filed a copyright application with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for the original lyrics to “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Casper Slide Part 2” and in August 2000, Perry was listed as the sole author and claimant of both songs.
In October 2008, Perry registered the songs with Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) to receive royalties off the performances.
In 2004, M.O.B., Thompson, and Tyrus registered as the writers and the publishers of the songs with ASCAP and BMI.
Perry received quarterly payments from BMI as the songwriter from October 2000-April 2008 when he was notified of pending claims to ASCAP by M.O.B. as the alleged songwriters and publishers of the songs.
Perry and Haywood are asking that the defendants relinquish all rights to the songs, withdraw any and all ASCAP registrations, give up all profits earned, and pay all court costs. The defendants were not available for comment.