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

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5 Replies to “Justin Bieber Sued for “Sorry””

  1. Travis

    shes probably going to get buried alive by biebers lawyers.. hope she wins though… surprisingly i like biebers better(shockingly) hinterlands starts out great.. then to me gets sloppy.. regardless.. bieber deserves to lose this one

  2. Travis

    and in all honesty.

    this seems closer than the thicke/gaye suit..

    this one should prove interesting

    i dont think ive ever seen a copyright suit filed for copying a vocal riff..

    but said it before..

    even though biebers is more smoother and easier on the ears(shocking)

    that does infringe hinterlands track..

    and if ya really listen to both..

    ya can hear some other similarities besides that..

    though this is the most obvious..

    thing is though…

    even if something like this is copied..

    it all comes down to who has the better lawyers

    i really hope casey has better skilled lawyers

    is it too late to say sorry now?

    why yes..

    yes it is..

    1. Keith Post author

      Heh. Thanks for the heads up. I saw this headline earlier today and thought it was for an actual photograph for some reason. Long week ;). Going to write it up now.


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