This week, Devin Copeland and his songwriting partner Mareio Overton filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bieber and Usher to determine whether they copied parts of the 2008 song “Somebody To Love“. They claim that the beats, lyrics, and time signatures match up too closely to the original to be ignored. Usher and Justin Bieber will go in front of a federal appeals court ruling this Thursday.
The case was dismissed by a lower court judge last year, saying that there were significant enough differences. Richmond, VA’s 4th Circuit Court feels differently, however, and have decided that the initial ruling was incomplete and incorrect.
Circuit Judge Pamela Harris had this to say:
After listening to the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs as wholes, we conclude that their choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar.
She disregarded the genre differences between the two songs, ignoring that one was R&B and the other more pop/electronica-oriented. The song first appeared on Justin Bieber’s 2010 album “My World 2.0”. It was remixed later in the year, with collaboration from Usher, and held the 15th spot on Billboard’s charts.