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Beach Boy publisher wants cut of Perry’s Gurls

By | Published on Tuesday 10 August 2010

Universal Music Publishing has confirmed that it has asked that Mike Love and Brian Wilson be credited as co-songwriters on the recent Katy Perry hit ‘California Gurls’, because at the end of it Snoop Dogg raps the immortal line “I really wish you all could be California girls”, which comes from the Beach Boys song ‘California Girls’, of course.

The co-credit requested by Universal isn’t just so Love and Wilson can enjoy the warm glow of having officially contributed to one of these new fangled raps, but because the music major wants a royalty cut for use of the line. 

Universal owns the classic Beach Boys song via its Rondor Music subsidiary. They said yesterday that “we have established diminutive claim. It is [now] up to the six writers and various publishers of ‘California Gurls’ to decide whether they honour the claim or not. Using the words or melody in a new song taken from an original work is not appropriate under any circumstances, particularly from one as well-known and iconic as ‘California Girls'”.

The royalty claim follows reports that both Love and Wilson were fans of Perry’s song, and Love insisted yesterday that neither he nor the Beach Boys were involved in any litigation over it. Meanwhile, as “Beach Boys sue Katy Perry” headlines started to fly yesterday afternoon, Perry took to Twitter to insist that, while Universal may be talking sternly about wanting a cut of the action on her recent hit, nobody was actually suing anybody. She tweeted: “Just to be clear, no one is suing anyone; the press just loves to once again fabricate and exaggerate stories to get hits or sell papers”.