The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Michael Bolton's appeal of a $5.4 million decision against him for copying parts of the Isley Brothers' "Love Is a Wonderful Thing" for his 1991 song of the same name (RealAudio excerpt).
A Los Angeles federal jury found in 1994 that Bolton copied five musical elements from the Isleys' 1966 song. The jury ordered Sony Music to pay $4.2 million, Bolton to pay $932,924, co-writer Andrew Goldmark to pay $220,785 and their publishers to pay $75,900, according to Reuters.
The Supreme Court rejected Bolton's appeal without comment or dissent. In the original trial, Bolton said he had never heard the Isley Brothers song.
Alan Dershowitz, Bolton's lawyer, called on the Supreme Court to create a single standard in copyright cases "so that creators are aware of the rules and the federal courts can enforce them," according to the news service.
Spokespersons for Bolton and the Isley Brothers could not be reached for comment.