This is rather interesting as both songs are both quite old but it’s never too late to sue!
Here are the clips in question:
As reported by Hollywood Reporter:
Richard Morrill is suing Stefani, her company Harajuku Lovers, Pharrell Williams and Interscope Records, claiming “Spark the Fire” infringes on his rights in a 1996 song called “Who’s Got My Lightah.” (He also created a derivative of his own work in 2009 called “Who’s Got My Lighter.”)
Morrill is a singer-songwriter who was formerly in the late-’80s funk metal band L.A.P.D. — which is now known as Korn — but, in 1997 and 1998, he was a hairstylist in Huntington Beach.
He says Stefani, then the 20-something lead singer for No Doubt, came into his salon. Morrill claims he played his song for Stefani while he was coloring and styling her hair, she liked it and he gave her a CD containing it.
Nearly two decades later, Morrill is claiming that Stefani and Williams copied the chorus from his song when writing “Spark the Fire.”
He says he discovered the infringement when his friend saw Stefani and Williams perform the song on The Voice in 2014 and sent him a link to a video of the show.
Morrill claims the lyrics to the chorus are substantially similar to his own. His attorney Alan Blakley describes the similarity as follows.
First, regarding Morrill’s 1996 song: “The lyrics of the chorus of ‘Who’s Got My Lightah’ were: ‘Who’s got my lightah? Going to find ya. Who’s got my lightah? I’m right behind ya. Who’s got my lightah? I’m going to find ya. Give it back, give it back.'”
Second, regarding Morrill’s 2009 derivative song: “The lyrics of the chorus of ‘Who’s Got My Lighter’ were: ‘Who’s got my lightah? Who got the fire? Who’s got my lightah? Who’s got my little lightah?’ Fire is pronounced ‘fi-ya.'”
Third, regarding the song by Stefani and Williams: “The lyrics to the chorus of ‘Spark the Fire’ are: ‘Who got the lighter? Let’s spark the fire. Who got the lighter? Let’s spark the fire.’ This is repeated once more. Fire is pronounced ‘fi-ya.'”
The suit also claims the rhythm, melody and background music in the chorus is “almost identical” to Morrill’s, and the songs are sung in the same key.
Read the full legal documents here.
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