Ariana Grande Sued Over Her Song "The Way"
Posted by Joseph Lee on 12.12.2013
It may have used a 1972 disco song...
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ariana Grande, Sony/ATV, UMG Records and others have been sued over "The Way", which spent 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 this year. They are being sued by UK group Minder Music, who own the rights to songs written and recorded by American disco and funk group The Jimmy Castor Bunch. The group was most successful in the 1970s, including the 1972 song "Troglodyte", which includes the phrase "What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time."
The phrase has appeared in songs by NWA and Christina Aguilera, but Minder Music says that while "iconic", it can't be used without a license. They are accusing Grande of using the song in "The Way", which they say includes the "substantially similar" phrase, "What we gotta do right here is go back, back into time."
The lawsuit claims: "The songs' phrases are strikingly similar in several ways, including but not limited to: nearly identical lyrics; similar enunciation speed with a fast and consistent pace for 'What we gotta do right' and a slightly slower pace for 'here is go back,' and substantially similar placement at the same places in the respective compositions. The deliberate compositional decision to place the 'Troglodyte' Phrase at the beginning of 'The Way,' as it appears in 'Troglodyte' itself, not only shows a deliberate attempt to copy 'Troglodyte' compositionally, but to also evoke 'Troglodyte' to the many fans of it."
Minder Music wants a declaration of willful infringement, a permanent injunction, statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement and legal fees. They are represented by Richard Busch at King & Ballow.