Robbie Williams is facing a lawsuit from American folk legend Woody Guthrie‘s copyright holders.
New York-based Ludlow Music Inc says Robbie should have credited Guthrie, who died in 1967, for music and lyrics on ‘Jesus In A Camper Van’ on his ‘I’ve Been Expecting You’ album.
The song takes lyrics from Guthrie‘s ‘New York Town’, which was adapted by Loudon Wainwright III on his 1974 song ‘I Am The Way’. While Wainwright is credited on Robbie‘s LP, Woody Guthrie isn’t.
Larry Richmond, of Ludlow Music Inc, told NME: “Robbie Williams, or whatever his name is, has appropriated that recording, that copyright and he has written a new song based on it. That’s the focus of the dispute.
“This guy may be a talented artist who’ll bring some new success to the UK music scene and I’m all for it. He’s a good guy. But you can’t take other people’s music without crediting it.”
Richmond claims a copyright infringement lawsuit has been served on Robbie‘s management and publishers. While he wouldn’t confirm the exact details of the suit, Richmond confirmed lawyers would be looking to stop sales of the track, which is included on Robbie‘s first US album ‘The Ego Has Landed’, released on May 4 on Capitol. The album is a compilation of songs from both debut album ‘Life Thru A Lens’ and ‘I’ve Been Expecting You’. It entered the U.S. charts at 85 and has risen to 68 in its second week.
A spokeswoman for Robbie told NME: “It’s not anything to do with Rob really. It’s all being dealt with by the publishers.”
Due to his workload in America, Robbie‘s only gig in the British Isles this year will be at Dublin Slane Castle on August 28.
Tickets are available from nme.com‘s 24-hour ticketline on 0870 121 0125 or click here to go to our online gig guide and ticket service.