Dua Lipa song ‘Levitating’ sued twice for copyright infringement

Published March 8, 2022, 11:46 AM

by Punch Liwanag

Dua Lipa’s official ‘Future Nostalgia’ album cover

Dua Lipa was hit by two consecutive copyright lawsuits last week over her track “Levitating.”

The first one was from Florida-based reggae band Artikal Sound System who claimed that Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” track lifted from their 2017 song titled “Live your Life.” Billboard reported that said complaint, filed March 1, “was very short and contained mostly template claims of copyright infringement, with little detail about how Dua Lipa copied the song.”

The Artikal Sound System lawsuit did state that it was “highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently.” 

The second was over the weekend when lawyers for songwriters L. Russel Brown and Sandy Linzer claimed that said Dua Lipa track, from her hit “Future Nostalgia” album, “infringed on their 1979 disco song ‘Wiggle and Giggle All Night’ originally performed by Cory Daye,” (as well as “Don Diablo” a 1980 song by Miguel Bose that also infringed on “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” that was eventually obtained thru a lawsuit by Brown and Linzer),” Rolling Stone reported.

“The infringing works have compositional elements substantially similar to those of the (Brown and Linzer, referred to as BL in the lawsuit) songs. Most significantly, the first and defining melody (the ‘signature melody’) in the infringing works is a duplicate of the opening melody from the BL songs. The signature is repeated six times in ‘Levitating’ and three times in ‘Levitating (Da Baby),” the lawsuit stated.

The BL lawsuit is more detailed in the sense that “musical notation as evidence” was included to prove that Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” is similar to “Wiggle and Giggle” and “Don Diablo.”  

“It is apparent that all three iterations of the melody are substantially similar. The notes move in the same direction with evenly matched intervals or ‘steps’ and almost identical rhythms,” said the BL lawsuit.

Rolling Stone had noted that Sandy Linzer had written hits for music groups such as Dawn and The Four Seasons, Tony Orlando and the Partridge Family.

The Artikal Sound System lawsuit also included Dua Lipa’s music label Warner Music and the creators behind the track. Meanwhile, the BL Lawsuit also named DaBaby (who appears on a remix), the producers and the music label as defendants.

 
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