Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson Sued Again Over “Uptown Funk”
Nostalgia is a dangerous game in the wake of the “Blurred Lines” verdict. If you’re accurate when you try to evoke an older era or sound, you could very well get a hit, but if you’re too accurate, you could also get hit with a lawsuit. It’s something that’s particularly dicey for retro-minded acts like Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and in fact they’ve already settled with Gap Band, who sued over similarities between “Uptown Funk” and their 1979 song “Oops Upside Your Head.” Just about everyone who listened agreed the similarities were undeniable, so in 2015 the five members of the funk band got retroactive writing credits and 17% of the single’s royalties. But now “Uptown Funk” is in the middle of another lawsuit.
Minneapolis funk band Collage is suing for copyright infringement, saying the massive hit jacks the “rhythm, harmony, melody and structure” of their 1983 song “Young Girls,” according to TMZ. The sole living member of Collage is demanding a cut of the profits, which would further dice up the enormous pie.
That Gap Band case was pretty cut and dry, but I’m struggling to hear a copy job on this one. Hear them side-by-side and judge for yourself.