Recently, Ariana Grande and David Guetta, among other Defendants, were sued for copyright infringement over the song “One Last Time.” The lawsuit was brought by musician Alexander John Greggs, who is professionally known as “Alex Greggs” or “Alex G.” The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants’ song “One Last Time” is substantially similar to his “Takes All Night” song. The Complaint alleges that the “most immediately apparent similarities” are the chorus and/or “hook” of each song, since the “choruses in the two songs use a similar melodic contour.” The Complaint alleges claims for direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement. Further, Plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
In order to show infringement the Plaintiff will need to establish substantial similarity between the two songs. In addition, the Plaintiff’s vicarious and contributory infringement claims seek to hold one or more of the Defendants who were not direct infringers liable. Plaintiff’s vicarious infringement claim requires a showing that one or more of the Defendants 1) had the right and ability to control the direct infringer’s acts; and 2) received a direct financial benefit from the infringement. The Plaintiff’s contributory infringement claim requires a showing that one or more of the Defendants 1) had knowledge of the infringement; and 2) induced, caused or materially contributed to the infringement.
Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.
Daniel Devine, Esq.
Santucci Priore, P.L.