Creating original lyrics and beats for music is becoming increasingly difficult as the music industry continues to boom, and many musical artists have been sued for stealing lyrics or releasing a song that sounds like a song already released.
Here are four artists who have been sued for copyright infringement over the years.
More recently, pop singer Dua Lipa was sued, according to Billboard, for copyright infringement by reggae band, Artikal Sound System, because they think their 2017 song “Live Your Life” sounds a lot like his hit “Levitating”. “
“Levitating” comes from Lipa’s second studio album released in 2020, nostalgia for the future. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2021.
“Live Your Life” is taken from Artikal Sound System’s EP, Smoke and mirrorsreleased in 2017.
In court documents, the band claimed that Lipa had had enough time to hear their song and copy it, “‘Levitating’ is substantially similar to ‘Live Your Life’. Given the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that “Levitating” was created independently of “Live Your Life”.
In early 2020, Ariana Grande was sued for copyright infringement for her single “7 rings”. DOT stage name Josh Stone claimed that Grande and the songwriters plagiarized the lyrics to his song “You Need It, I Got It.”
In the song’s chorus, Grande repeats the lyrics “I want it, I got it.” In Stone’s song, he repeats “You need it, I got it. You want it, I got it.”
Writing in the docs, Stone said one of Grande’s producers, Thomas Lee Brown, was present at a conference where “You Need It, I Got It” played. Brown reportedly liked the song and wanted to work with Stone.
“Literally, each of the respective 39 ratings of 7 RINGS is identical to the 39 ratings of I GOT IT from a metric placement perspective,” the court notes said via CNN.
In March 2021, a judge dropped the case because the defendant claimed he “didn’t have a monopoly on everyday phrases such as ‘I get it,'” according to Reuters.
Ed Sheeran has been at the center of many lawsuits over the years. His hit “Thinking Out Loud” was accused of copyright infringement by one of Marvin Gaye’s songwriters for “Let’s Get It On,” who claimed the two songs sounded too similar not to sue.
In 2019, Ed Townsend co-wrote the 1973 song with Gaye. The trial judge heard “substantial similarities between several of the musical elements of the two works”. Townsend sued Sheeran for $100 million, NBC News reported.
The judge had denied Sheeran’s request to drop the lawsuit and will be charged with plagiarism, according to Republic World.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams
Marvin Gaye’s family, who are entitled to royalties on his songs, have sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their 2013 song “Blurred Lines” when they claimed to have plagiarized Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up “.
Thicke and Williams later hit back at The Family after arguing that the two songs sounded similar, according to NBC News.
In 2015, the family of the late singer won the long battle.
“‘Blurred Lines’ and ‘Got to Give It Up’ are not objectively similar. They differ in melody, harmony and rhythm. Yet, by refusing to compare the two works, the majority set a dangerous precedent that carries a devastating blow to future musicians and composers everywhere,” Judge Jacqueline Nguyen wrote.
Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay Gaye’s family $5 million.