It’s happened before and it’s happened again. Not looking too hot right now are Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson are facing copyright infringement claims over their hit single ‘Uptown Funk’.
Their lawsuit, according to Pitchfork, was filed by Minneapolis electo-funk band called Collage who believe ‘Uptown Funk’ borrowed many of the tunes from their 1983 single ‘Young Girls’. Now the OG band are looking to take the duo to court due to their single being “an obvious, strikingly and/or substantially similar copy.”
The complaint states:
Upon information and belief, many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of “Uptown Funk” are deliberately and clearly copied from “Young Girls,” including, but not limited to, the distinct funky specifically noted and timed consistent guitar riffs present throughout the compositions, virtually if not identical bass notes and sequence, rhythm, structure, crescendo of horns and synthesizers rendering the compositions almost indistinguishable if played over each other and strikingly similar if played in consecutively.
TMZ reports that Collage claims Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars admitted they were influenced by Minneapolis/1980s electro-funk soul, a scene which Collage and others like Prince were a part of. The direct claim is that Mars and Ronson were influenced by ‘Young Girls’.
The last surviving member of Collage, Larry White, and the estates of two deceased group members, Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Alongside Mars and Ronson as defendants are Trinidad James, Jeff Bhasker, Devon Gallaspy, Phillip Lawrence, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner/Chappell Music, Atlantic Records and RCA Records.
There have been other accusations of copyright infringement, including a potential suit from funk group the Sequence, who argued ‘Uptown Funk’ single copied their 1979 song ‘Funk You Up.’ Despite this, there was no formal legal action taken.
Since the song’s release in November 2014, it has skyrocketed, being Mars’ biggest song to date and having sold more than 6.1 million copies. While the lawsuit doesn’t state how much is being demanded, it’s expected to be huge.
For those interested, here is the song ‘Young Girls’.
And in case you don’t listen to the radio, here is ‘Uptown Funk’ for a comparative study.
Feature image source: Soul R&B.