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Compelling Constitutional Conversations


Hey! Not That "Mickey": Disney & South Park Sued by Singer

Sep 18, 2017

-by Jennifer Conway

Toni Basil. Her name may not ring a bell, however, many will undoubtedly recognize her 1982 bubble gum "cheerleader anthem" and one-hit wonder “Mickey.” The 72-year-old singer, choreographer, and actress is suing multiple companies over the unauthorized use of her song, including Disney, South Park, Forever 21 and Viacom. Basil is demanding a jury trial for damages in excess of $25,000 claiming she has suffered “sleep deprivation, nightmares and anxiety.”



The bulk of Basil’s suit is aimed NYC-based record company Razor & Tie Direct. The lawsuit alleges Razor & Tie has been illegally licensing the song “Mickey” without Basil’s consent for decades. The singer claims due to multiple unauthorized right’s transfers, Razor & Tie obtained the rights to her song.

Basil is also suing Disney alleging her “exclusive right to publicity has been damaged by the coupling with Mickey Mouse and the Disney brand.”


“Basil’s brand and identity is intertwined with her song Mickey,” her lawyer writes in court papers. “Basil is protective of her brand.”


Forever 21 for using “Mickey” to promote their Disney clothing line:



South Park for a short segment in a 2008 episode where the character Randy sings: “Obama, you're so fine! You’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey, Obama!”



Viacom for an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, featuring Yara Sofia and Carmen Carrera lip-syncing the Spanish Version of “Mickey.”



Mickey singer Toni Basil Sues Disney and South Park, BBC News, Sept 1, 2017


Check out these songs from Rolling Stones’ Top 10 List of music copyright cases:


De La Soul vs. The Turtles (1991)
"Transmitting Live From Mars," by De La Soul (1989) vs. "You Showed Me," by the Turtles (written by Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark) (1969)


The Beach Boys vs. Chuck Berry (1963)
"Surfin' U.S.A.," by the Beach Boys (1963) vs. "Sweet Little Sixteen," by Chuck Berry (1958)


Led Zeppelin vs. Willie Dixon (1972)
"Bring It On Home," by Led Zeppelin (1969) vs. "Bring It On Home," by Sonny Boy Williamson (written by Willie Dixon) (1966)
"Whole Lotta Love," by Led Zeppelin (1969) vs. "You Need Love," by Muddy Waters (written by Willie Dixon) (1962)


George Harrison vs. The Chiffons (1976)
"My Sweet Lord," by George Harrison (1970) vs. "He's So Fine," by the Chiffons (written by Ronnie Mack) (1962)


Ray Parker Jr. vs. Huey Lewis and the News (1984)
"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. (1984) vs. "I Want a New Drug," by Huey Lewis and the News (1984)


John Fogerty vs. Creedence Clearwater Revival (1985)
"The Old Man Down the Road," by John Fogerty (1985) vs. "Run Through the Jungle," by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)


Vanilla Ice vs. Queen and David Bowie (1990)
"Ice Ice Baby," by Vanilla Ice (1989) vs. "Under Pressure," by Queen, David Bowie (1981) 


2 Live Crew vs. Roy Orbison - (1994)
"Oh, Pretty Woman," by Roy Orbison (1964) vs. "Pretty Woman," by 2 Live Crew (1989)


The Verve vs. The Ruling Stones (1997)
"Bitter Sweet Symphony," by the Verve (1997) vs. "The Last Time," by the Rolling Stones (written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) (1965)


Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye (2014)
"Blurred Lines," by Robin Thicke (cowritten by Pharrell) (2013) vs. "Got to Give It Up," by Marvin Gaye (1977)


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