Justin Bieber doesn’t have much to complain about when it comes to his latest hit album, but that may be changing.
The pop star and his producer Skrillex have been sued for alleged copyright infringement over their No. 1 song “Sorry,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
The artist White Hinterland (real name: Casey Dienel) claims that “Sorry” rips a hook from her 2014 song “Ring the Bell.”
The part in question comes from the beginning of each song. “Sorry” starts with an ascending vocal arpeggio that does sound remarkably like the one in “Ring the Bell,” though the one in the Bieber song has an extra note. Both arpeggios recur throughout the songs.
You can hear them both below:
“The identical and/or striking similarity of ‘Sorry’ to Plaintiff’s song ‘Ring the Bell’ surpasses the realm of generic coincidence and independent creation,” the court complaint obtained by EW reads.
“Sorry” came out in October 2015, more than a year after “Ring the Bell.”
Interestingly, there’s a connection between this case and the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for “Stairway to Heaven,” which is similarly based on alleged copyright infringement in one particular portion of the song.
Dienel also claims in the suit that she and her colleagues sent a letter to Bieber’s team informing them of the infringement, with a musicology report, but got no response.
She’s seeking damages, a declaration of copyright infringement, and an injunction to prevent further alleged copyright infringement of “Ring the Bell.”
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. and Universal Music, Bieber’s label, are also named in the suit. Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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