Columbian star Shakira broke copyright laws

A federal judge has found that a hit song performed by Colombian pop star Shakira was indirectly copied from another songwriter's work.

New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein, said Shakira's Spanish-language version of Loca, released in 2010, had infringed on a song by Dominican singer Ramon Arias Vazquez.

The Spanish version - a collaboration with Dominican rapper Eduard Edwin Bello Pou, better known as El Cata - was widely released as a single around the world and went on to sell more than five million copies.

Loca was also included on Shakira's 2010-released album Sale el Sol and topped Billboard Magazine's Latin charts.

In the ruling on Tuesday, Judge Hellerstein said that while the hit single had been based on an earlier version of a song recorded by Bello [El Cata], it had been copied from Arias Vasquez's original song.

"There is no dispute that Shakira's version of the song was based on Bello's version," said the judge, in his ruling.

"Accordingly, I find that, since Bello had copied Arias, whoever wrote Shakira's version of the song also indirectly copied Arias," he concluded.

The ruling is a victory for the plaintiff, Mayimba Music, which holds the rights to Arias's work and which sued Sony Corp of America and several other Sony units in 2012.

The judge found only two of them liable, Sony/ATV Latin and Sony/ATV Discos, for distributing the Latina star's song.

However Hellerstein dismissed claims that Shakira's English version of the track - featuring Dizzie Rascal - infringed on copyright laws, citing a lack of evidence.

Colombian singer Shakira performing Loca in 2011 Reuters

Arias Vazquez penned his song Loca con su Tiguere in the 1990s, but Bello has denied copying it.

The next stage of the case will be to determine the damages for Mayimba Music, which holds the rights to Arias' work and a permanent injunction requested by the company against Sony.