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Music

Dua Lipa gets hit with second 'Levitating' copyright lawsuit

@TylerGolsen

‘Levitating’ by Dua Lipa is inarguably one of the most popular songs of the 2020s. Originally released in October of 2020, ‘Levitating’ is still currently sitting at a prominent spot on both the US and UK singles charts. As of the publishing of this article, the song is number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 85 on the Official Singles Chart, with a combined 142 weeks on both charts.

With all that success, it’s no surprise that anyone with a tangible connection will be looking to cash in. Songwriting suits are nothing new: anyone with at least a goldfish’s memory can cite any number of previous credit clashes, including Olvia Rodrigo vs. Paramore on ‘Good 4 U’, Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye on ‘Blurred Lines’, or Vanilla Ice vs. Queen on ‘Ice Ice Baby’. Now, Dua Lipa finds herself at the forefront of the most recent song credit controversy, with a number of artists claiming that ‘Levitating’ has stolen from their compositions.

Last week, Florida-based reggae band Artikal Sound System filed a lawsuit against Dua Lipa citing copyright infringement. The band claimed that ‘Levitating’ ripped off their own track 2017 track ‘Live Your Life’. At first glance, it seems like a stretch for a relatively-unknown Florida band to claim that one of the world’s biggest pop singers stole from them, but then you listen to both tracks and wonder how it took them this long to file a lawsuit. The tracks are eerily similar, but now Artikal Sound System have some additional competition for those ‘Levitating’ royalties.

That’s because songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer are now the second party to file a lawsuit against Dua Lipa and Warner Bros Records for stealing ‘Levitating’. Brown and Linzer claim that ‘Levitating’ poached elements from two of their songs: ‘

‘ by Cory Daye and ‘Don Diablo’ by Miguel Bosé, released in 1979 and 1980, respectively.

Unfortunately, Brown and Linzer’s lawyers have decided to submarine their appeal to the public by shoehorning in groan-worthy puns into their official complaint. “Defendants have levitated away plaintiffs’ intellectual property,” the lawyers wrote. “Plaintiffs bring suit so that defendants cannot wiggle out of their willful infringement.” I don’t care how similar the songs are now, there’s no way I’m going to feel sympathetic for artists who try to be cute in their official legal proceedings.

These connections are certainly more difficult to hear on first listen. Whereas ‘Levitating’ and ‘Live Your Life’ are immediately similar, ‘Wiggle and Giggle All Night’ and ‘Don Diable’ seem to be more distinct in their compositions and arrangement. In fact, if I were a lawyer, I’d try and hit ‘Wiggle and Giggle All Night’ for obviously lifting its drum machine rhythms from Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. Thanks to the precedent set by the ‘Blurred Lines’ court case, just about anyone has reasonable means to file a songwriting lawsuit these days, no matter how serious or how frivolous they may be.

Listen to all the songs down below.