Copyright suits for popular funk and hip-hop songs are nothing new, but the last year or two has seen more than its fair share.
The estate of Marvin Gaye successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell for $7.3 million in 2013 in a copyright infringement suit. Now, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson are next up as a '80s funk band known as Collage are claiming that Uptown Funk infringed on the copyright of their song, Young Girls.
The suit, which was seen by TMZ, alleges that "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."
What does that mean in layman's terms? When you listen to them together, they sound pretty much the same. Here's the two songs to judge for yourself.
The stakes are pretty high for Bruno Mars. To date, it's his biggest song to date and reportedly earns $100,000 a week on Spotify. So far, the song has sold over 6,100,000 copies and is the second longest-running No.1 song on a Billboard chart.
The Gap Band were awarded additional songwriting credit on Uptown Funk, when they cited similarities between Uptown Funk and their song, Oops Upside Your Head.