Pop-punk band Yellowcard has apparently filed a lawsuit against rapper Juice WRLD for similarities between their tracks. Yellowcard, who's currently on an indefinite hiatus, claim the rapper’s 2018 hit “Lucid Dreams” infringes on their “Holly Wood Died” track released back in 2006. They’re currently seeking $15 million in damages over copyright infringement.
Former Yellowcard members filed their complaint on Monday Oct. 20th of 2019 in the U.S. District Court in California. Members Ryan Key, Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin, Peter Michael Mosely and Longineu Warren Parsons were the ones who filed the claim though Moseley and Parsons have been long departed from the band before Yellowcard's final 2017 show. However, all four members were in the band upon release of their 2006Lights And Sounds release, the album that contains “Holly Wood Died.”
In the new suit filed, Yellowcard claims that Juice WRLD ripped off “melodic elements” from their track without permission.
The lawsuit states: “Defendants copied the Original Work without license or consent, and have exploited the subsequent Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording to their collective benefit without regard to Plaintiffs’ rights and to Plaintiffs’ detriment,” the filed complaint reads. “The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording directly misappropriates quantitatively and qualitatively important portions of Plaintiffs’ Original Work in a manner that is easily recognizable to the ordinary observer. The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording are not only substantially similar to the Original Work, but in some places virtually identical.”
In addition to Juice WRLD, the band goes on to list co-named defendants including “Lucid Dreams” co-writer Taz Taylor (a.k.a. Danny Lee Snodgress Jr.), along with his publishers Taz Taylor Beats, Artist 101 Publishing Group and publishing administrator Kobalt Music Services; producer Nicholas Mira, along with his publishers Nick Mira Publishing, Electric Feel Music and publishing administrator Songs of Universal; “Lucid Dreams” publisher BMG Rights Management; record label Grade A Productions; and Grade A’s parent company, Interscope Records.
To establish similarity between the two tracks, the complaint also includes a chart analyzing the two compositions and notes a number of common elements including hooks, vocal melodies and a distinctive “melodic idiosyncrasy” known as a melisma, which the plaintiffs claim appears in a “parallel position” in both songs. "The high degree of objective similarity between the Original Work and the Infringing Work extends well beyond the possibility of coincidence and could only reasonably be the result of an act of copying,” it concludes.
Yellowcard's attorney, Richard Busch, issued a statement about the lawsuit in which he explained, "This was not a lawsuit the guys wanted to file. They put all of the parties on notice a long while ago and gave them every opportunity to try to resolve it. That notice was pretty much ignored leaving them with no real choice. As alleged in the Complaint, this is not just a generic Emo Rap song, but is a blatant copy of significant original compositional elements of Holly Wood Died in several respects. Beyond that, everything we have to say is in the Complaint.”
“Lucid Dreams” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has racked up more than 1.6 billion on-demand streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, and been certified 5x multi-platinum by the RIAA.
You can check out BOTH the Yellowcard and Juice WRLD songs below to be the judge for yourself..
YELLOWCARD - HOLLY WOOD DIED
JUICE WRLD - LUCID DREAMS
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