Dua Lipa has been accused of plagiarism twice in the same week and for a single song. Levitatinghis most listened to song in 2021 and one of the hit melodies on TikTok, would have copied the initial part of Don diablo, song performed and signed by Miguel Bosé in 1980 and its English version, Wiggle and Giggle All Nightplayed by Cory Daye a year earlier.
The American songwriters of both, L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer, filed a lawsuit against the British artist on Monday, adding to the one that a reggae group initiated the previous days. Ed Sheeran also faced trial on Tuesday for the same charges against his success Shape of You, 2017. A wave of violations of the copyright that has splashed Sam Smith and Normani for their theme dancing with a stranger, of 2019.
In the court case of Levitating, TikTok has gained unusual relevance. Although the percentage that would be recognized Don diablo and Wiggle It is small, it coincides with the part that has gone viral on this social network. A detail that the plaintiffs have not wanted to overlook.
The most heard and recognizable part of the offending work and plays a crucial role in its popularity
TikTok has become a launch pad for music news through challenges (or challenges) and short choreographies proposed by the artists or the users themselves. Dua Lipa organized a contest among her TikTok fans for dance moves and makeup ideas to later include them in the official video clip of Levitating. 150,000 videos were submitted and, after a castingsome of the contestants appeared dancing the chosen choreography with Lipa.
“The melody in question is the most heard and recognizable part of the infringing work and plays a crucial role in its popularity,” Dua Lipa’s lawyers have said, referring to the part that has gone viral on TikTok. It’s no secret that the Brit was pursuing an ’80s aesthetic and tonality on her latest album, but according to the plaintiffs, this “nostalgic inspiration” translated into “unattributed” theft. “Since video creators often cut out the already short sound bites on TikTok, the signature melody accounts for 50% or more of these viral videos,” the attorneys allege.
Dua Lipa has not spoken about it, nor did she do so a few days ago when the group Artikal Sound System filed the lawsuit in a Los Angeles court because Levitating has parts traced to his song Live Your Life, released in 2017 on SoundCloud, but never recorded. The American group accuses Lipa and Warner Records of theft and demands compensation.
Both Artikal Sound System and L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer have denounced the singer, the record label and the other labels on the song: Clarence Coffee Jr (who has also written for Justin Bieber and Years & Years), Sarah Hudson (Katy Perry, Nicky Minaj and Camila Cabello) and Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madonna, The Game and Jennifer Hudson).
The demand for similarities with Don diablo cites an interview with Dua Lipa in which he claims to have given credits to the Australian band INXS in his song break my heart to avoid future litigation. That is, the young woman openly acknowledges external inspiration. Both the aforementioned composition and Levitating are part of the album Future Nostalgia, with which he is on tour in the United States and will arrive in Spain in the coming months. What’s more, Levitating it spent 68 straight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and soon released its remix version which was another hit.
“When we did Levitating we knew it was special because it gave us a good feeling. It was the song where I said ‘Okay, I already have an idea of what it is Future Nostalgia'” revealed the British artist in The Journal podcast. In other interview with Peopleacknowledged that he had been inspired by other retro artists: “I wanted to evoke the memories of growing up listening to the music of my parents, such as Jamiroquai, Blondie and Prince, and recreate them. It is a celebration of being open, vulnerable, able to dance and be happy. Dancing while crying is a whole concept.”
Future Nostalgia, in addition to garnering great reviews since its publication in 2020, won a Grammy for Best Pop Album, with the award for Best British Album at the Brits Awards and with the statuette for Best Favorite Album at the American Music Awards. The top 40 also highlighted it as Best International Album.
The most listened to song in the history of Spotify, in judgment
everyone knows shape of you, the hit that Ed Sheeran released in 2017. It is the most listened to song in the history of Spotify. But few will know that neither Ed Sheeran nor the co-writers of the song have received a single royalties in these five years. The reason is that a British rapper accuses him of plagiarizing his theme oh whypublished two years earlier.
Sami Switch declared that Sheeran has “a habit of conscientiously stealing the creations of other composers”, for which he initiated legal action in 2018 to sit him down in a trial that was finally held on March 8, 2022 in London. The oral hearing could last at least three weeks.
PRS for music, the entity in charge of the copyright of affiliated artists – including Sheeran – froze the royalties from shape of you until the case is resolved in court. There are a total of about 24 million euros in rights that the artist has never received. The plaintiffs’ attorney accused Sheeran of having overheard oh why through YouTube and to learn about Swift’s work through mutual friends, since the rapper suggested that they collaborate on some occasion. That tandem never happened.
shape of you it was number 1 worldwide in all countries except Japan (where it reached only fourth) and is the artist’s most characteristic song. “I usually refer to other works when I compose, as other authors do. And if there is such a reference, I always notify my team so that they obtain the corresponding assignment or license,” said Ed Sheeran.
The singer hummed in court verses of songs like oh why (that of the plaintiff), feeling good or I see fire (soundtrack by The Hobbit) to demonstrate that the melody accused of plagiarism, sung in “minor pentatonic”, is common: “If you put them all in the same key, they will sound the same”, he defended himself. He also revealed that the song she is being sued for was originally intended for Rihanna or girl group Little Mix.
dancing with two strangers
In 2019, the British Sam Smith released a duet with the American Normani called Dancing with a Stranger. According to Billboard, it came about by chance when Smith was writing a song in Los Angeles and former Fifth Harmony member Normani was in the studio next door and they decided to work together. But just this week the singer Jordan Vincent has accused Sam Smith of plagiarizing his theme Dancing with Strangers.
According to Jenesaispopthe lawsuit states that “the chorus of both songs contains the lyrics dancing with a stranger and that, in the song, this phrase appears in an almost identical melody and musical composition”. In fact, before releasing their duet, Smith’s label showed great interest in using Vincent’s song for another artist, before for him to get her out, but that deal was never completed.
They are also accused of having copied the video clip, since both show “a woman who dances interpretive dance in a minimalist studio” together with a “male performer singing the song”. For the plaintiffs this is the last trick, since they claim to have offered a deal in private to Sam Smith’s team that has been ignored. The same team that undertook to make a comparative analysis of both compositions that never came.
It is not the first accusation of plagiarism that Smith has faced. At the time the similarities of their success were pointed out stay with me and the theme I won’t Back Downby Tom Petty. But that was settled amicably by including Petty in the credits as co-writer of Smith’s song, even though the former said in the press that it was a “musical accident”.