Forbes - Last May I wrote about the copyright lawsuit brought against Childish Gambino for his song “This Is America.” The opening line of that article was, “[t]hese days, it feels like music copyright lawsuits are a dime a dozen.” Not much has changed. Within the span of one week, Dua Lipa was sued twice for copyright infringement over her mega-hit “Levitating.” The first lawsuit was filed in California on March 1st on behalf of the band Artikal Sound System (“Artikal”), authors and copyright owners of the composition of 2017 reggae hit “Live Your Life.” The second lawsuit filed on March 4th in New York on behalf of L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer (“Brown/Linzer”), composers of Cory Daye’s 1979 disco song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and the 1980 song “Don Diablo.” Ironically, that same day, a copyright infringement suit was also filed against Sam Smith and Normani relating to their hit, “Dancing With a Stranger.”
A few weeks ago when the first suit was filed I wrote the following-
Now we're here again. Same song. Different band. Different accusations. Yes this time plural. As in two songs.
Songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer accused Lipa of copying their 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and 1980 song “Don Diablo.” They said the opening melody to “Levitating” was a “duplicate” of the melody of their songs.
Again, Dua is my #1 girl, and I want to have her back, but these are both pretty damning.
But the fault doesn't fall, rather, shouldn't fall, on her shoulders alone.
Stephen Kozmeniuk and Stuart Price produced the song.
They're responsible for these samples not being cleared and royalties not being worked out in advance.
For them to think they could sneak a song this sure to be a smash hit by, without the artists that had their original material lifted noticing, is asinine.
Which leads me to my theory…
Hear me out on this.
It's no secret that music producers of all statures have "ghost-producers". Some, like Dr. Dre and Tiesto employ armies of them. Some like Calvin Harris have a few steadfast and loyal ones.
But pretty much everybody has assistants that do the grunt work and heavy lifting while not caring about the recognition or notoriety. They just want to get paid.
It's all an amicable relationship. Most of the time.
Now, my theory is that some lowly ghost producer was high and surfing the internet crates of obscure tracks and came across the above songs.
One thing lead to another and creative license lead them to "being inspired" to the point they ripped the melodies.
They submit their work to their bosses, Stephen Kozmeniuk and Stuart Price, and blow their minds.
They fail to disclose the liberty they took using the other songs because they don't want to ruin the excitement and bada bing bada boom next thing you know Dua Lipa has a #1 on her hands and they're running it back to be remixed with Da Baby.
Now, here's where the tinfoil hat comes into play.
Why is this all just becoming a thing now?
This song was a smash all summer long. The album came out a year ago.
Why are these bands and artists just speaking up now?
Your honor, the state would like to present the following piece of information it feels is critical to this entire situation -
Daily Mail - Dua Lipa has split from the management company that helped turn her into a global sensation, following a disagreement over earnings.
The singer, who signed for London-based Tap Management in 2013 while working as a cocktail bar waitress, stunned its bosses last week when she said she no longer wanted them to represent her.
Music industry sources say her departure is linked to the size of the cut she receives from recording and commercial deals negotiated on her behalf by Tap Management.
Miss Lipa, a three-times Grammy award winner who is currently on a 73-date tour of America, is signed to Warner Music and has lucrative deals with firms including Evian, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace. She also has social-media deals to promote the Truly alcoholic drink.
While some of her endorsements are recent, others pre-date her emergence as a global superstar with 79 million followers on Instagram, when her negotiating position would have been weaker.
Commenting on her surprise decision to leave Tap Management and her manager Ben Mawson, a source said: ‘It all came as a bit of a shock, but unfortunately there will always be disagreements when it comes to money. Things had been brewing for some time.
‘Tap have taken her from an unknown teenager to the most successful female artist in the world. When you look at it like that, you can’t help but think something quite bad has happened.’
According to her latest accounts, Miss Lipa’s earnings more than doubled to almost £50million last year, up from £22.7million in 2020. The 26-year-old also has £28 million of assets in her touring company Dua Lipa Live LLP.
It was reported yesterday that Miss Lipa’s father Dukagjin will take over her management from Tap.
Now, a few things about this.
As Coughlan's Law states- "everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn't end."
This was a bad breakup over money. A tale as old as time.
Dua Lipa canned her old management company, the ones who took her from the poor house to the penthouse, and replaced them with her father. Because when has a female pop star depending on her father to handle her finances ever ended badly?
Now, THIS IS ALL A SUSPICION, but what if Tap Management, in a "fuck you send off" kind of way reached out to these artists they knew their former artist's music was infringing upon and tipped them off?
Not only as a way to hurt her checkbook, but also to tarnish her reputation as an artist?
This split just happened in February. And less than a month later these lawsuits start flying?
But crazier shit has happened. Especially in the entertainment industry.
Regardless, with Dua we stand.
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