Collage — a 1980s funk band — fired off a lawsuit against the popular hit-makers, accusing Ronson, Mars and others of swiping elements from their 1983 song “Young Girls” and using them in their chart-topping track. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have been hit by a lawsuit over their Grammy Award-winning hit single, Uptown Funk. The pair is being sued by 1980′s funk band Collage over the grounds of copyright infringement. According to the group, “Uptown Funk” bears an “almost indistinguishable” resemblance to their 1983 song “Young Girls.”
Ever since the arrival of the retro-sounding “Uptown Funk” in November 2014, Mars and Ronson have battled accusations of copyright infringement, including the threat of a lawsuit from funk group the Sequence, who argued Mars and Ronson’s single copied their 1979 song “Funk You Up.” However, the Sequence never formally sued Mars and Ronson.
The suit alleges that “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.” The legal filing also claims the producers behind “Uptown Funk” ripped off the rhythm, structure and “crescendo of horns and synthesizers,” among other aspects, from Collage’s hit. 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,
It’s hardly the first time, however, that they’ve been accused of stealing from other groups for their Grammy-winning song, which has sold more than 6 million copies since its release. Trinidad James, Jeff Bhasker, Devon Gallaspy, Phillip Lawrence, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner/Chappell Music, Atlantic Records, RCA Records and others are listed alongside Mars and Ronson in the lawsuit. Only one member of Collage, Larry White, is alive. The estates of two other members, Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters, are also listed as plaintiffs.
This is the second time Mars and Ronson have been accused of copyright infringement over the song. In May, funk group The Gap Band got 17% of all publishing royalties and writing credits for giving up sections of their 1979 hit Oops Upside Your Head. A third group called The Sequence has also alleged the duos copied their song, but have yet to file a complaint. Collage is seeking damages and profits from Mars, Ronson and other producers involved.
Keywords: Copyright, copyright infringement, Bruno Mars, notes, rhythm, composition, Uptown Funk.