US Judge dismisses Bieber copying claim

April 2014

Music publishing, sound recordings

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit being pursued by singer Devin Copeland and songwriter Mareio Overton over 2010 Justin Bieber hit ‘Somebody To Love’: the claimants had argued that the Bieber track was very similar to a song they had written and that Copeland had shared the original song with Bieber mentor Usher. The he judge considering the case has ruled that – while there may be some themes in common between the two songs – they are not sufficiently similar to constitute plagiarism.¬†According to The Hollywood Reporter, the judge ruled: “Although the accused songs have some elements in common with plaintiffs’ song, their mood, tone, and subject matter differ significantly”.

The judge added that while there may be similarities between the tracks if you go looking for them, the average listener wouldn’t consider them the same. He said: “The judge adds: “Any listener who had not set out to detect the songs’ similarities would be inclined to overlook them, and regard the songs’ aesthetic appeal as different. Therefore, a reasonable juror could not conclude that a member of the public would construe the aesthetic appeal of the songs as being similar”.

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