Justin Bieber Sued for “Sorry”

Justin Bieber vs. White Hinterland (Casey Dienel)

Back in November I posted Justin Bieber “Sorry” sounds just like this song about the similarities of the main vocal hook in Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and White Hinterland’s “Ring the Bell”. As of this week Bieber and company are being sued by White Hinterland (Casey Dienel). Here are the tracks:

Justin Bieber - "Sorry" (2015)
White Hinterland - "Ring the Bell" (2014)

On Thursday, May 26 Dienel posted the following statement on her official Facebook page:

As many of you that follow my career and work have already recognized, Justin Bieber’s song “Sorry” copies the vocal riff prominently featured in my song “Ring the Bell.” The writers, producers, and performers of “Sorry” did not obtain a license for this exploitation of my work, nor did they obtain or seek my permission. Yesterday afternoon, I filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Justin Bieber and the other responsible parties.

After this post, I intend to leave the subject matter of the lawsuit in the hands of my lawyers and the legal system. However, because I do not take the act of suing lightly, I want to take this opportunity to briefly explain my decision to those of you who are connected to me through family, friendship, and music.

Creating original and unique music is my life’s passion, but it is challenging and time consuming. I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into writing and producing “Ring the Bell,” and I am proud of the finished product, which Rolling Stone listed as one of its “favorite songs, albums, and videos.” Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to preserve my independence and creative control, thus it came as a shock to hear my work used and exploited without permission.

Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in “Sorry.” But he chose not to contact me. After the release of “Sorry,” my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Bieber’s team again chose to ignore me. I offered Bieber’s team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample. Justin Bieber is the world’s biggest artist, and I’m sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me. But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Casey Dienel (White Hinterland)

Read more about this on Pitchfork: White Hinterland Speaks Out on Justin Bieber “Sorry” Lawsuit

UPDATE 5/31/2016
Skrillex (who is one of the producers of “Sorry”) posted this Instagram video a few days ago (May 27, 2016) demonstrating how the vocal hook in “Sorry” was derived. Although he is demonstrating that the hook is not from a sample of “Ring the Bell” it doesn’t argue the fact that it is still very similar. Perhaps the vocalist is a White Hinterland fan. Who knows??!!

 

 

See Also
Justin Bieber vs. September

Led Zeppelin Going to Court for Stairway

I’ve been covering this “Stairway to Heaven” vs. “Taurus” thing since 2013. Apparently it’s finally really going to court and the boys of Led Zeppelin will have to defend themselves.

A United States district judge, Gary R. Klausner, wrote in the decision Friday that while the chromatic four-chord backbone shared by the songs was “a common convention that abounds in the music industry, the similarities here transcend this core structure.”

A trustee for Spirit’s guitarist, Randy Wolfe, brought the suit against the surviving members of Led Zeppelin in 2014. Mr. Wolfe died in 1997.

The trial, scheduled for May 10, would be the second high-profile jury trial to determine the similarity between two songs in two years, a trend industry experts say may open the gates to more suits. –Did Led Zeppelin Steal ‘Stairway to Heaven’? A Jury Will Decide – New York Times

And here’s the music. I’m still not sure why Dolly Parton is not included in this mess but have a listen anyway:

Spirit - "Taurus" (1968)
Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven" (1971)
Dolly Parton - "We Used To" (1975)

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! This is not the only song Led Zeppelin has been accused of ripping off. And on the other side of things, Many artists have borrowed from Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin vs. The World

Led Zeppelin vs. Chicago vs. Green Day vs. The White Stripes

Coheed and Cambria vs. Led Zeppelin

Devo vs. Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin vs. Rage Against the Machine

Public Image Ltd (PiL) vs. The Stills

Public Image Limited vs. The Stills

If there is a song on this site that screams homage than this MUST be it. I was listening to a satellite radio station the other day and PiL‘s 1983 track “This is Not a Love Song” came on and I immediately thought of  “Still in Love Song” by The Stills. If this was was not intentional then I would love to have a chat with The Stills about this one.

The Stills - "Still in Love Song" (2003)
PiL - "This is Not a Love Song" (1983)