Dua Lipa has been sued twice in the span of a week for alleged copyright infringement in connection with her 2020 song, Levitating.
The first case, filed last week by the Florida reggae band Artikal Sound System, argues that Dua Lipa stole their 2017 song Live Your Life, which the band claims Dua Lipa did not write.
Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer, two composers, filed a second lawsuit against the company on Friday. Wiggle and Giggle All Night (a disco song from 1979), as well as the 1980 track Don Diablo — a tune for which they claim Levitating has infringed on Wiggle and Giggle All Night (a disco song from 1979), are among the songs they claim Levitating has plagiarized.
A joke was made in the court lawsuit by Brown and Linzer’s attorneys, who wrote, “Defendants have levitated away plaintiffs’ intellectual property.” “Plaintiffs file litigation in order to prevent defendants from escaping responsibility for their willful violation.”
Levitating, a track from Dua Lipa’s 2020 album Future Nostalgia, peaked at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was voted the number one Hot 100 song of 2021 after reaching the top of the chart. According to Billboard, the song has also been in the top 10 for the longest amount of time by a female artist.
While Artikal Sound System claims that Dua Lipa plagiarized their music in the chorus of her successful song Levitating, Brown and Linzer say that Dua Lipa copied their music in the verse of her hit song. They referenced the popularity of the entrance verse of Levitating on TikTok in their complaint, saying that their intellectual property was the driving force for the song’s success on the platform.
Due to the fact that video makers regularly compress the already small samples of music on TikTok, the trademark tune is commonly heard in 50 percent or more of these popular films,” says the author.
There is another high-profile court struggle underway in the field of musical copyright infringement at the same time that these claims are being filed. According to reports from the BBC, Ed Sheeran appeared in court on Tuesday to defend his song Shape of You against a similar complaint.
However, according to legal experts, establishing copyright infringement in the context of music is no easy task.
“The occurrence of coincidental likeness is more prevalent than most people realize. Rolling Stone reports that “intentional melodic plagiarism among songwriters is less prevalent than people believe,” according to Joe Bennett, a musicologist at the Berklee College of Music, according to the publication.
“Every day, tens of thousands of new songs are composed and posted to the internet. […] So many songwriters working on their own projects all around the globe, all hoping to produce something that others would like listening to. As a result, it is reasonable to expect to encounter fragmented coincidences from time to time.”
When it comes to fighting musical copyright disputes, it’s not about the sound, style, or “vibe,” but rather about examining the musical composition and recording of a song. The process of comparing notes, rhythms, and melodic background (such as the underlying chords and harmony being formed) is known as comparing notes and rhythms.
Judith Finell, an expert witness, and forensic musicologist believe that the analysis may be reduced to a mathematical formula.
According to Finell, in an interview with NBC News, “I’ve built a type of hierarchy that I look at, and I testify about it.” “It would be melody, which refers to pitch, and melody, which refers to rhythm, but it would also include chords and words.” “Can you tell me how much of the content is in each song?”
What she went on to say was, “Even if you see parallels, what needs to be examined is [how] unique is it?” Do you think the second song copied the first song or did it copy music that was made by hundreds of other individuals that was similar to the first song? The kind of analysis I would do is as follows:”
The line between plagiarism and inspiration is blurry, particularly in light of the fact that so much contemporary pop music draws on previous genres. Dua Lipa herself revealed that she was attempting to recreate the disco and dance-pop hits of her childhood with Future Nostalgia and that she was successful.
Take a listen to the songs included in this contest, and make your own decision.