U.S. District Court (Southern District of New York) Judge Richard Sullivan has dismissed a Pittsburgh man’s copyright infringement claim against songwriter Darius Paulk, EMI Christian Music Group and Sony Music Holdings related to Vashawn Mitchell’s #1 Billboard Hot Gospel Songs 2010 chart hit, “Nobody Greater.”
In late summer 2011, aspiring songwriter, Travis Malloy, claimed co-authorship of Paulk’s song and filed a copyright infringement claim against EMI Christian Music Group for releasing Vashawn Mitchell’s blockbuster hit “Nobody Greater” without his permission. The suit also named the writer of “Nobody Greater”, Darius Paulk; and Sony Music Holdings which owns the Verity Records label that licensed the song for its successful “Wow Gospel 2011” double-disc compilation CD.
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In his suit, Malloy, argued that he has not received writing credit nor royalties from radio airplay and music sales for the song. Paulk adamantly denies Malloy’s claim to authorship. “I wrote Nobody Greater during a very traumatic period in my life in 2008,” Paulk says. “It’s my testimony. I was laid-off because of downsizing at my job. I had just gotten a car and a new place. Also, my grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer. The message of the song reflects my personal struggles and victories. Travis Malloy did not contribute to the creation of this song. I wrote the lyrics and melody by myself in the privacy of my home. His claim is baseless… Truth always comes to light.” When gospel superstar Kirk Franklin won the Stellar Award for Song of the Year in January 2012, he pulled Paulk and Mitchell to the stage with him to accept the award. “That song has ministered to me so deeply,” he said to the audience before looking back at the duo and offering, “… I would be honored to share this award with you guys.”