Pop star Dua Lipa was accused of copying a song by a Florida reggae band and turning it into one of the singer’s top hits.
A band called Artikal sound system filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, accusing Lipa, Warner Records and four musicians of copying the band’s 2017 song “Live Your Life.”
According to the band, Lipa’s 2021 hit “Levitating” cut out important elements of the band’s original work.
“Levitating” is Billboard Hot 100 top song in 2021, and spent over 68 weeks on the chart, Billboard report. The song is also the longest-ever top 10 hit by a female artist on the Billboard Hot 100, according to Billboard.
The lawsuit provides some details about how exactly Lipa and her co-defendants copied its song, and it doesn’t explain how the songs are similar.
“In 2020, for information and conviction, Defendants listened to and copied ‘Live Your Life’ before and during the time they wrote ‘Levitating,'” the band’s lawsuit states.
“‘Levitating’ is essentially the same as ‘Live Your Life’,” the lawsuit said. “To the extent that it is, it is highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently of ‘Live Your Life’.”
According to the complaint, the Artikal Sound System has performed and toured together since 2010.
“[T]legacy album where the song ‘Live Your Life’ appeared on the Billboard chart at #2 in reggae in 2017,” the lawsuit states.
Lipa’s “Levitating” from the album “Future Nostalgia,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year 2021 and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
To win a claim of copyright infringement, the plaintiff must not only prove that the respondent copied the song, but that the two have substantial similarities.
The define “significant similarity” not just a gut feeling. It is usually based on forensic analysis to determine the extent of reproduction of the original work and the quality or performance characteristics of the work. Various federal courts apply different tests to make this determination, making it difficult to predict whether a copyright claim will succeed early in the litigation process.
TMZ, the entertainment website that first reported on the lawsuit, posted both songs on its website and said that “the two songs sound very similar, especially the chorus.”
Members of Artikal Sound System have filed a complaint Christopher Edward Cope, Christopher Edward Montague, Fabian Andres Acuna, Adam Spencer Kampfand Denton Bedward.
In addition to Lipa, a UK citizen, a band called Warner Records are the defendants, as are the musicians Bosco Kante, Clarence Coffee Jr., Sarah Hudsonand Stephen Kozmeniuk.
Representatives for Artikal Sound System and Warner Records did not immediately respond to Law & Crime’s request for comment.
Read the complaint below.
[Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/florida-reggae-band-sues-dua-lipa-alleging-2021-hit-levitating-copied-their-2017-song/ Florida Reggae Band Sues Dua Lipa Over 2021 Hit ‘Levitating’