Since the untimely death of music icon Prince, there have been a lot of issues to sort out regarding his affairs. Now it seems as though his estate is embroiled in yet another battle—this time in Italian courts.
Billboard reports that a court ruled that one of Prince’s most memorable hits, 1994’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In the World” was plagiarized from the 1983 song, “Takin’ Me To Paradise” by songwriters Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino. The pair initially filed suit in 1995 after the song was released but they were ruled against.
However, the songwriters appealed, and won in 2007, as well as a final ruling which came in 2015. Now they are looking to collect the money from their favorable ruling. According to Billboard, under the latest ruling, Prince’s estate is banned from distributing “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in Italy. The magazine also reports that the sentence must be published, at Prince’s expense, in two Italian national dailies and two specialist music magazines.
Bergonzi says that, “This has yet to happen.”
But one part of the deal has been realized—the songwriters have been getting paid. The Italian collecting society SIAE now recognizes Bergonzi and Vicino as the authors of “The Most Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and Bergonzi told Billboard that “we have begun to receive some royalty payments.”
“The court has also ruled that we should receive compensation for ‘moral rights,’ although under the Italian legal system that doesn’t amount to a large amount of money,” he added.
Prince’s estate still has to sort out how the rest o the payments will be received.