Chris Brown sued for copyright infringement by UK music publisher
One more week another High-profile copyright infringement lawsuit on a hit song in the United States.
Superstar singer Chris Brown sued for copyright infringement on his track Privacy, released in March 2017 and taken from his album Blow of heart at the full moon.
A UK-based music publishing company called Greensleeves Publishing Ltd, which also has a US headquarters in New York City, alleges Brown snatched a 1997 dancehall track titled Tight skirt to create its track.
Sony Music Entertainment is also named in the seven-page legal document, which was filed in New York City on July 2.
The lawsuit against Brown comes just a week after Atlanta rapper Kilo Ali aka Andrell Rodgers sued US rap star NLE Choppa, alleging that the vocal chorus of his own song, Love in your mouth was ripped off to create the melody in NLE Choppa’s Make them say.
Tight skirt, performed by Jamaican Dancehall star Red Rat, was released in 1997, first in the UK and later worldwide on the album Oh no… It’s Red Rat.
Red Rat, who is not mentioned in the legal document filed by Greensleeves, said in 2017 following the release of Privacy that he “received many calls left and right from many people asking me what I thought of [Chris Brown] sampling Tight skirt, and all I can say is, ‘Give God all the glory.’
According to Greensleeves’ claim, which you can read in full here, Chris Brown “took the main musical characteristic” of the piece and “used it prominently” in Privacy “without authorization”.
Greensleeves says in the lawsuit that it owns and administers exclusive rights to music publishing in the United States over the copyright of Tight skirt.
Red rat Tight skirt and that of Chris Brown Privacy, whose video has more than 213 million views on YouTube, “share a similar primary identifying characteristic,” the lawsuit explains.
A melody containing the lyrics “Hey you girl inna di tight upskirt” and “Hey you girl without a tight up skirt”, respectively (called Phrase A in the costume), begins each chorus of the two songs (see below).
In Greensleeves’ trial, the company argues that in Tight skirt, Phrase A “is hook and dominates the chorus sections, occurring a total of 18 times throughout the song. This includes both the initial lyrics which occur six times in total and the lyrical variations.”
Chris Brown’s Privacy, adds the editor, “does not contain” a bracket phrase and therefore the A-phrase “takes on greater significance, due to its prominent position as the first phrase in each chorus section.”
Adds the lawsuit: “The phrase A in the counterfeit work is also very distinctive in the song as it contrasts with and musically deviates from a material that precedes and follows it musically, lyrically and vocally.
In addition, the instrumental accompaniment is drastically altered for the first two iterations of the A-phrase to specify the full accompaniment, including significant percussion stops, abruptly here, reduces the musical activity to the single vocal phrase similar with a very sparse instrumental accompaniment. “
The rhythms in phrase A are also “identical in both songs with the same or similar lyrics corresponding in the following sequence in both songs,” Greensleeves’ claim adds, and illustrated below.
Another reason Greensleeves thinks Chris Brown’s track Privacy is similar to 1997 The tight skirt is for “both the vocal timbre and the dialect of the language change when the above sentence is performed (the dialect evoking the distinctive Jamaican pronunciation, inflection and cadence)”.
“This new timbre and dialect are substantially similar to the vocal timbre and dialect in Tight skirt and deviate significantly from surrounding material in the counterfeit work, ”adds Greensleeves.
Listen for yourself below:
Greensleeves maintains that “the exploitation of Chris Brown and Sony Music Entertainment Tight skirt took place without permission or permission and constitutes an infringement of copyright in the musical composition ”.
The company seeks “a preliminary and permanent injunction directing the defendants and all persons acting in concert with the defendants to make, reproduce, distribute, adapt, display, advertise, promote the offer for sale and sell or perform any substantially similar material copyrighted work ”.
Greensleeves also seeks actual damages and profits “in an amount greater than $ 1.5 million to be determined at trial, plus interest.”
The case follows other copyright lawsuits filed against superstar artists in recent years.
In May, Childish Gambino was sued for copyright infringement on This is America.
In April, BTS and Big Hit (HYBE) were sued for copyright infringement on the K-Pop reality show I-Land.
In August last year, Kendrick Lamar was sued for copyright infringement by a musician called Terrance Hayes, for Lamar’s hit single Loyalty, released in 2017 and extracted from his fourth album, Thin.
That same month, a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Lizzo (aka Melissa Jefferson) by three songwriters – Justin and Jeremiah Raisen and Justin ‘Yves’ Rothman – was dismissed by a California judge.
In July 2020, pop-punk group Yellowcard dropped their $ 15 million copyright lawsuit against Juice Wrld over the late artist’s hit single, Lucid dreams.
In June 2020, Travis Scott was charged with copyright infringement in a lawsuit brought by Blurred Lines attorney Richard Busch over his No. 1 US single, Highest in the room.
Meanwhile, in March 2020, a California federal court overturned the verdict in the Black Horse copyright infringement lawsuit against Katy Perry – who allegedly saw her, her, Capitol Records and her associates responsible for $ 2.8 million.
Perry’s victory followed Led Zeppelin’s victory over their long copyright battle over their classic 70s song Stairway to Heaven scored a huge victory for the British rock band, as well as their publishing and label partner, Warner Music Group.Music trade around the world