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10 music artists who got in trouble for song steals

Taylor Swift is facing another law suit. This time over allegedly copying the lyrics, “players gonna play, haters gonna hate” and using them in her hit song “Shake It Off”.

The song Swift allegedly copied is 3LW’s “Playas Gon Play”which was released all the way back in 2001. Of course, representatives for Swift have quickly rejected the claim, saying the claim is ridiculous and nothing more than a grab for money.

Ridiculous or not, this is far from the first time an artist has accused another artist of copying their song. In fact, it seems this pretty much happens every other week. From a just a couple notes to a couple lyrics, here are ten cases of music artists who have been accused of being copy cats.

Ed Sheeran v. Matt Cardie 

Sheeran was accused of making his hit song, “Photograph”, a note-for-note copy of “Amazing” by Matt Cardie. The songs allegedly shared a massive 39 identical notes. The case was settled out of court earlier this year.

Robin Thicke v. Marvin Gaye

“Blurred Lines” was a massive hit when it was released back in 2013, but it sounded a lot like Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up”. In fact the similarities were so striking Thicke and his collaborator, Pharrell Williams were ordered to cough up $7.4 million in damages for the copyright infringement. Ouch!

Vanilla Ice v. Queen & David Bowie

There is no question that Vanilla Ice ripped off the hit Queen/Bowie collaboration, “Under Pressure”Use of the sample from the song landed Vanilla Ice with the number one hit, “Ice Ice Baby”. The dispute was solved in an out of court settlement for an undisclosed sum.

Chuck Berry v. The Beatles 

In 1973, Chuck Berry’s publishing company decided to take on John Lennon, claiming he stole lines and melodies from “You Can’t Catch Me” and used them in the hit Beatles song, “Come Together”The case was settled out of court, with Lennon agreeing to record three rock ‘n’ roll songs for the publishing company.

Avril Lavigne v. The Rubinoos

The Rubinoos filed a lawsuit against punk-pop princess Avril Lavigne when they discovered that her hit song “Girlfriend” was a little too much like their song, “I Want To Be Your Boyfriend”The dispute was settled out of court.

Sam Smith v. Tom Petty 

A lot of people were quick to notice the similarities between “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith and “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty. Petty’s lawyers took notice and filed a lawsuit. The case was settled out of court with Petty added to the song credits for “Stay With Me”. 

Coldplay v. Joe Satriani 

When Coldplay had a hit with “Viva la Vida” in 2008, guitarist Joe Satriani took notice. The song allegedly sounded very similar to Satriani’s instrumental track “If I Could Fly”. Coldplay called in coincidence and settled the dispute out of court.

The Verve v. The Rolling Stones

When The Verve recorded “Bitter Sweet Symphony” actually asked permission to use a sample from The Rolling Stone’s song, “The Last Time”The issue was that the band allegedly used too much of the song. The Rolling Stones asked for 100 per cent of the royalties and songwriting credits to “Bitter Sweet Symphony”. The terms were agreed to in court.

Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars v. The Gap Band

There are some pretty striking similarities between “Uptown Funk” and “Oops Upside Your Head”. So it’s not surprising that Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars had to add The Gap Band to the song credits for “Uptown Funk” and also give them a 17 per cent share in the royalties.

Creedence Clearwater & John Fogerty

Lastly, this is the strangest case of plagiarism ever. Lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, was accused of ripping off – wait for it – Creedence Clearwater Revival. Forgerty’s song, “The Old Man Down the Road” sounded a little bit too much like “Run Through the Jungle” and the record label sued. Forgerty won the case.

Haters gonna hate.