Man presses $400 billion lawsuit against Bon Jovi over baseball anthem

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Man presses $400 billion lawsuit against Bon Jovi over baseball anthem

Tue Nov 10, 2009 @ 09:55AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Jon_bon_jovi A Massachusetts man is appealing a $400 billion lawsuit against Bon Jovi, TBS, Time Warner, Major League Baseball, ASCAP, and others against all odds.

Yes, $400 billion.

Last year, Samuel Bartley Steele filed a lawsuit against the defendants for ripping off his ode to the Boston Red Sox entitled, "(Man I Really) Love this Team." According to the complaint, the song was released in October 2004 and performed by the Bart Steele Band. Steele says he handed out copies to Red Sox executives, sent copies of the song to players, performed it live on local television, and sent it to MLB with the idea for a "country" song that would market baseball.

During the 2007 playoffs, Bon Jovi released a song, "I Love This Town," that was used by MLB to promote playoff baseball on TBS. Steele claimed that frontman Jon Bon Jovi either heard the song when he was campaigning for John Kerry in Boston in 2004 or that some executive passed it along to him.

Sounds ridiculous. But things got weirder after Steele's own musicologist testified that the songs weren't very similar. The district judge ruled that no reasonable jury could conclude there was substantial similarity between the songs and dismissed the claim.

Red Sox fans don't give up very easily, though. On Friday, Steele appealed his $400 billion claim to an appeals court. Take that, Oprah

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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