Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are being sued for copyright infringement over their song ‘Uptown Funk’.
Funk band Collage, who were mainly active in the early ’80s, claim elements of ‘Uptown Funk’ are “deliberately and clearly copied” from their 1983 single ‘Young Girls’.
Their complaint, obtained by Pitchfork, says: “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.”
Compare and contrast the two songs below.
This is not the first time the origins of ‘Uptown Funk’ have been called into question. All-female rap group Sequence claimed in February that elements of ‘Uptown Funk’ are stolen from their song ‘Funk You Up’, though they have yet to file a lawsuit.
Ronson and Mars previously added five new writers to the song’s credits in order to avoid a ‘Blurred Lines’-style lawsuit. That case ended with Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke having to pay Marvin Gaye’s family for the likeness between Gaye’s 1977 song ‘Got To Give It Up’ and their 2013 chart-topper.
Three of the newly-credited ‘Uptown Funk’ writers were members of The Gap Band, who claimed there are similarities between ‘Uptown Funk’ and their own hit ‘Oops, Up Side Your Head’ last year.
‘Uptown Funk’ won the coveted ‘Record of the Year’ accolade at the Grammy Awards earlier this year. It was also the biggest selling single of 2015.