Awful news for Bruno Mars and his fans, the singer is being sued for alleged plagiarism of perhaps his most successful song, Uptown Funk.
Ronson and Mars are accused of the fact that Uptown Funk is a copyright infringement on Minneapolis funk group Collage’s 1983 hit Young Girls, copying the original song’s structure, melody, harmony and rhythm.
Uptown Funk has come out in 2014; I wonder what took Collage so long to sue the singer in the first place.
The only member of Collage that is still alive is Larry White but Grady Wilking and Lee Peters are also listed as defendants.
It is a truly devastating situation for Mars, as Uptown Funk has sold more than six million copies and was also number one on the Billboard chart for the second longest time in the chart’s history. Now, that was a successful song indeed, not to mention it brings in about $100,000 only from streaming rights on Spotify every week.
Ronson and Mars have talked before about how the song was inspired by early 1980s electro-funk and people say that Collage is only seeking to make profit. Is the copyright infringement suit really justified? The legal complaint states: “Upon information and belief, many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of Uptown Funk are deliberately and clearly copied from Young Girls, including, but not limited to, the distinct funky specifically noted and timed consistent guitar riffs present throughout the compositions, virtually if not identical bass notes and sequence, rhythm, structure, crescendo of horns and synthesizers rendering the compositions almost indistinguishable if played over each other and strikingly similar if played in consecutively (sic).”
It looks to me like the real situation is the fact that the song was deeply influenced by the electro-funk genre, considering that earlier this year there was another group, The Sequence, which also claimed that Uptown Funk infringed upon one of their songs. However they decided not to sue.