Sam Smith & Normani Hit W/ Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For ‘Dancing W/ A Stranger’
Sam Smith and Normani are under fire.
British singer Sam Smith and pop artist Normani are facing a lawsuit for their duet “Dancing with a Stranger.” Songwriters Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda, and Rosco Banlaoi accused the duo of using the same title, chorus, and composition as one of their songs.
In a court filing, the songwriters allege that Sam and Normani’s teams acquired the song after their label, Thrive Records, wanted another artist to use the song.
They went on to say that the artists’ representatives were informed about the copyright strike in Nov. 2020. However, they never gave them an explanation.
The court documents state:
“The hook/chorus in both songs — the most significant part and artistic aspect of these works — contains the lyrics ‘dancing with a stranger’ being sung over a nearly identical melody and musical composition.”
“Both videos consist of a girl performing interpretive dance alone in a minimalist studio, interspersed with shots of the male vocalist. A girl dancing alone is not an obvious visual theme for a music video titled ‘Dancing With a Stranger,’ tending to dispel any notion that this similarity is a coincidence…When the extraordinary musical similarity between the songs is also factored in, it becomes even more apparent that it is impossible that the infringing composition and
sound recording were independently created.”
“Another suspicious coincidence is that the call sheet for plaintiff’s music video specifically mentioned using the visual concept of mannequins coming to life.”
“Although this concept was not ultimately utilised in plaintiff’s music video, Normani and the director of defendants’ music video gave an interview in 2019 discussing how defendants wanted to use porcelain statues coming to life for their music video…The odds that such a unique but highly similar idea would have come independently to defendants are astronomical, especially considering the other shared similarities.”
“As a result of defendants’ exploitation of plaintiff’s song without permission, they obtained a massive international hit single which generated significant revenue and profits.”
“Defendants’ representatives were contacted in November 2020 about the similarities. Defendants were given every chance to come up with an innocent explanation, but, despite assurances that a response was coming including a musicological analysis and report, the defendants never issued a response. This suit is being filed as a last resort.”
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