Shortly after embarking on her Future Nostalgia World Tour, Dua Lipa faced two lawsuits in less than a week of each other. The first was by a Florida reggae band called Artikal Sound System, who accused Lipa of ditching production aspects of their song “Live Your Life” to make the big hit “Levitating.”
Then on Friday, the British singer was hit by yet another lawsuit for copyright infringement over the same song.
In the latest lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, the songwriters behind the 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and the 1980 song “Don Diablo” — L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer — said Lipa infringed. made on both songs because the melody was a ‘duplicate’. “The notes move in the same direction at evenly matched intervals or ‘steps’ and almost identical rhythms,” the prosecution alleges.
“Defendants have hoisted the plaintiffs’ intellectual property,” the punning indictment says, according to the Guardian. “Plaintiffs are filing a lawsuit so that defendants cannot escape their willful infringement.” It goes on to say, as Rolling Stone reports, “The infringing works have compositional elements substantially similar to those of the [Brown and Linzer] songs.”
As evidence to the case, the songwriters included Lipa’s interviews in which she “admitted to intentionally imitating earlier eras,” as well as reviews from music journalists who noted the similarities between “Levitating” and “Wiggle and Giggle All Night.”
The lawsuit comes on top of her previous lawsuit against Artikal Sound System, which stumped music influencers on TikTok. Some felt that the Florida reggae band had an “open and closed” case because of the similarities, while others felt there might be something unscrupulous going on.
A representative of Lipa did not respond to Fast Company’s request for comment.
These kinds of copyright lawsuits can be costly for music artists. In 2020, Rolling Stone noted that such costumes “drive fear into the hearts of professional musicians” as defendants are often asked to pay millions of dollars. The problem has become so pronounced that musicians are increasingly looking for error-and-omission insurance, or E&O, that protects the musician’s intellectual property when faced with legal difficulties.
Forbes also noted in 2021 that “the increasing trend of lawsuits over music-related copyright infringement seems to be going nowhere.”
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