The saying goes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in the music world, this can result in multi-million pound lawsuits if a song is deemed to be too similar to others.
Ed Sheeran - Photograph v Matt Cardle - Amazing
The matter was settled privately for £13.8million.
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud v Marvin Gaye - Let’s Get It On
Ed Sheeran has been sued by the estate and heirs of producer Ed Townsend who co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Marvin Gaye.
Despite Sheeran’s lawyers asking for the case to be dismissed, the judge cited “substantial similarities” between the tracks and the English artist faces an £82.2 million lawsuit.
The court date is set for September 11 this year.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams - Blurred Lines v Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were also stung by the estate and heirs of Marvin Gaye, after being sued for copyright infringement with their song Blurred Lines.
After months of legal back-and-forth, Thicke and Williams were forced to pay Gaye’s family £6 million.
Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure v Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
Ice Ice Baby is infamous for its undeniably similar bass line to Queen and David Bowie’s 1981 song Under Pressure.
Both Queen's and David Bowie’s representative filed lawsuits against Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle.
Ultimately, Mr Van Winkle co-credited the artists, and the the lawsuit was settled out of court.
Mr Van Winkle has recently claimed he bought the rights to Under Pressure from Queen and and David Bowie.
The Beatles - Come Together v Chuck Berry – You Can’t Catch Me
John Lennon was sued by Morris Levy - the producer who owned the rights to the Chuck Berry tune - for plagiarising one line, and arguing if Come Together was slowed down, it was essentially the same song.
It was eventually settled out of court, with part of the agreement forcing Lennon to record and release three songs owned by Mr Levy.
Coldplay - Viva la Vida v Joe Satriani – If I Could Fly
Guitarist Joe Satriani filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Coldplay in 2008, in which he claimed Viva la Vida bore a striking resemblance to his 2004 instrumental If I Could Fly.
The lawsuit was dismissed, but Mr Satriani’s lawyer did not reveal whether a financial settlement was reached between the two parties.
Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk v multiple artists
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars had to field a series of lawsuits against them in 2018.
The pair were accused of infringing The Sequence’s Funk You Up, Zapp & Roger’s More Bounce to the Ounce, and Collage’s Young Girls.
The lawsuit with Collage was dismissed, and they settled the case with Zapp's representatives privately.