As Tone Deaf reported earlier this year, it wasn’t just Robin Thicke and Pharrell who were nervous about the outcome of March’s ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict, the whole music industry was sweating about its potential ramifications, and it looks like they may have been right to.
As TIME reports, fresh from the suit that saw Thicke and Pharrell forced to pay $7.4 million to the estate of Marvin Gaye for copying 1977’s ‘Got to Give It Up’, the songwriting credits for Mark Ronson’s 2014 mega-hit ‘Uptown Funk’ have seen something of an expansion.
The track is now attributed to 11 different writers, including most recently, the writers of The Gap Band’s 1979 funk anthem, ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’ – band members Ronnie Wilson, Charles Wilson, and Robert Wilson, plus producers Rudolph Taylor and Lonnie Simmons.
They join a total of six writers who were already credited, including Ronson, Bruno Mars, who sings on the tune, producers Jeff Bhasker and Philip Lawrence, Nicholas Williams, better known as rapper Trinidad James, and Devon Gallaspy.
Williams and Gallaspy received their credits for the use of a sample of Williams’ 2012 single ‘All Gold Everything’, which lent the song its famous “Don’t believe me, just watch” chant.
However, the song didn’t originally credit the writers of its other, equally famous, refrain (find out which by comparing the two tracks below). The writers of ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’ are believed to be taking a 17 percent share of the song.
According to Billboard, via The Guardian, the additional credits follow a claim by publisher Minder Music. Rather than being sent to Ronson’s label or publisher, the claim was reportedly filed with YouTube’s content management system in February.
The credits followed a claim by the publisher Minder Music, reports Billboard. The claim, rather than being sent to Ronson’s label or publisher, was filed with YouTube’s content management system in February.
Danny Zook, who manages Trinidad James, confirmed to Billboard that the ‘Blurred Lines’ verdict did in fact impact the ‘Uptown Funk’ decision, saying that the case had changed attitudes towards songwriting credits in the industry.
“Everyone is being a little more cautious. Nobody wants to be involved in a lawsuit,” he said. “Once a copyright dispute goes to a trial, it is subject to be decided by public opinion – and no longer resolved based entirely on copyright law.”
‘Uptown Funk’ is the latest chart hit to see a plagiarism claim in just the last few months, joining ‘Blurred Lines’ and Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’, which now credits Tom Petty as a writer, after the songwriter alleged that Smith’s tune had borrowed from his 1989 hit ‘I Won’t Back Down’.