Recorded music, music publishing
Cutting Edge Music Limited has issued proceedings against The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), his producers and music giants Universal, Warner Chappell, Sony/ATV and others in the federal courts in California. The plaintiff identifies itself as a company that finances films and acquires interest in film score compositions and sound recordings. The Machine, about cyborgs created for a war, was one of the films, released in 2013 and had a score by Tom Raybould – which has allegedly been infringed. The key evidence in the complaint — is an alleged message sent through Twitter by co-defendant Emmanuel “Mano” Nickerson, a prominent music producer who worked on “The Hills.”
The Hollywood Reporter says that according to the complaint “On or about March 9, 2015, Defendant MANO sent Raybould a Twitter direct message stating ‘I sampled your music might make it 2 the weeknd next album. Huge fan of what u did 4 the machine movie!’ ”
“The Hills” was released in May as the second single from The Weeknd’s album, “Beauty Behind the Madness.” It’s topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for several weeks and has been remixed by Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
As for alleged substantial similarity, the complaint says that “Both the Infringing Song and the Track featuring synthesizer bass-lines performed with almost identical idiosyncratic sounds at the same register and using the same pitch sequence, melodic phase structure and rhythmic durations.”
The claim is for copyright infringement as well as unjust enrichment asking for damages and a permanent injunction.