Lots of you have been asking me for my opinion on the legal dispute between Kandi Burruss and Kim Zolciak. I have put off the story for a while, because my opinion is that I am confused by the whole thing. I assume y’all are too and that is why so many people are asking me about it. So let’s just look at what we know. Kandi and “Don Vito” are suing Kim for copyright infringement over the song “Tardy for the Party.” The fundamental issue of the lawsuit is the question “Who owns the song?” Therein lies the controversy. If I knew the answer to that question, I could form a better opinion. We have heard that Kim, Brielle, Kandi and “Don Vito” are all staking a claim of ownership. One fact everyone seems to agree on is that the song did not generate much revenue. If I recall correctly, the song only sold around 100k downloads at 99 cents or so each. So we are looking at about 100K of revenue. If you split that four ways, then each would have made around 25K. Kim claims to have paid Kandi 23K. So to me she owes Kandi about two grand and “Don Vito” around 25K. I suppose. Assuming the facts above are anything close to correct. I do not know.
The thing is, Kandi has a ton more money than Kim. I assume this is why she has not gone after her before now. Kandi is not particularly a “media whore” she doesn’t really need to run around doing “parties” in order to cover her bills. She keeps her finances in order. So the burning questions is why is she suing Kim now? Some, like Kim, speculate it is a publicity stunt to promote Kandi’s Bravo spin-off. That doesn’t sound like Kandi to me. Plus, Kim’s spin-off is coming out at virtually the same time. So wouldn’t they both be effected in the same way? Here is Kandi’s explanation:
It’s time for the whole ordeal to be over. I asked TuneCore to take the song down in December 2012. They did. Kim sent an affidavit to put it back up, which they did. TuneCore then informed me that in order for the song to be taken down permanently I would need to file suit to have it removed.
I never wanted to go that route but after being told that it is the only way to get the song removed, I had no other choice….This is not a publicity stunt. I no longer wish for anyone to benefit from the work that Don Vito and I created.”
Tunecore is a distributor that puts music on iTunes, Amazon and other major Internet outlets. You provide the music and they pay you directly for your sales. Kandi has decided that she no longer wants to provide Kim with a free gravy train. Perhaps she thinks that the second season of the spin-off will result in an increase in sales. Maybe she is just sick of the way Kim has treated her. Maybe “Don Vito” (Sidebar: If my name was Rodney Richard, I don’t think I would continue to use the name “Don Vito” after that icky old man from Jackass who called himself “Don Vito” got convicted for numerous counts of felony sexual assault on a child. Because that is who I think of whenever I see that name.) wanted his share and Kandi opted to support him in a lawsuit? Who knows. One very interesting thing that happened is that the quote by Kandi above was originally given to HipHollywood. It has since been removed by that website. Why?
Here is what Kim has to say about the issue via a “press release.”
The lawsuit led by Kandi Burruss and Rodney Richard aka Don Vito against Kim Zolciak-Biermann over the song “Tardy For The Party” is without merit and suspicious in its timing. We also find the handling of the lawsuit by another cast member on the show, and the timing of Kandi’s attempt to launch her own spinoff reality show, raises serious questions about the true motives behind the filing this lawsuit for alleged record royalties due from a song that was released over three and a half years ago.The song was created by four people who share in the royalties: Kim, her daughter (who co-wrote the original song in season one of the RHOA show before Kandi joined the show in season two) Kandi and Don Vito. To date, Kim has written checks to Kandi and Don Vito in excess of $23,000. In fact, we believe that Kim may have overpaid a portion of their share to date based on the actual record sales.
Is it just me or is this the first time we’ve heard about Brielle “writing this song” when she was in elementary school? I’ve read that she wrote it before RHOA started, and here that she wrote it in season one. I totally cop to having the worst memory in the world. I was having a lot of sex back then that apparently led to me having disassociative amnesia. Sorry. But just like Jodi Arias, I do have flashes of memory from that time. I could have sworn that at some point Kim went to a vocal coach who actually wrote the song. Kim gave the song to Kandi who reworked it and produced it and then Kim sang it with lots of help from autotune. I would assume that Kim did pay Kandi something since it would seem odd to make that claim during a lawsuit without check stubs to back it up, so I will take Kim’s word for it (I know, I know).
It is clear to us the lawsuit was brought solely for the purpose of publicity because the facts are not in Kandi’s favor. Kandi Burruss and her legal team are well aware of the truth regarding the song and the payments Kandi and Don Vito received from Kim. That is a clear fact.
One thing that immediately stood out for me in the press release is that it was not written by a lawyer, or even someone with a clear grip on the English language. So I googled the purported author and found out that Mike Paul is a self-proclaimed “reputation doctor” out of NYC. If I have a need for someone to repair my reputation, I don’t think I would hire someone who shouts out on his website that his job is to try to make people look better.
But we find the greatest truth in the fact that Kandi Burruss has been in the music business for many years and it appears she has made many mistakes in dealing with the song. We assume this has been a major lesson for Kandi. Maybe focusing on her next 15 minutes of fame should not have been the priority for Kandi versus three and a half years after the song was released, Kandi realizing she handled all aspects of the song in a very sloppy and messy way. We understand it is not the first time either. As Kandi is also a music industry veteran, it is also a shame.
I also would not hire someone who cannot use the word ‘versus’ correctly in a sentence. I also would not hire someone to publicly sling mud at the person I was in a legal conflict with. If I did hire someone to speak disparagingly about my legal adversary, I would use legalese and not colloquialisms like “sloppy and messy.” But that’s just me. I wonder if Kim’s lawyers approved this? She would have been better off with Kroy writing the press release. Actually, one probably should avoid “press releases” when involved in court proceedings.
So as far as I am concerned, I really have more questions than answers at this point. I feel like we don’t have all the facts. I am gonna rely on you guys to tell me what you think is really going on here.