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Dua Lipa hits back at another of the Levitating song-theft lawsuits

By | Published on Wednesday 16 November 2022

Dua Lipa

Lawyers for Dua Lipa have said that a lawsuit claiming that her 2020 hit ‘Levitating’ rips off an earlier song is “speculative”, “vague” and “devoid of a shred of factual detail”. And if that sounds familiar, it’s similar to the criticism Dua Lipa’s lawyers made of another lawsuit also accusing her of ripping off an earlier song when writing ‘Levitating’.

Because, yes, ‘Levitating’ is subject to two concurrent song-theft lawsuits, which is fun. And one of those lawsuits actually accuses Lipa of borrowing from two separate songs when writing her hit, so that’s a total of three songs that were allegedly ripped off by Lipa and her team in the making of one track. Quite the achievement!

The lawsuit responded to my Lipa’s attorneys this week relates to just one possibly ripped off song: 2017’s ‘Live Your Life’ by Artikal Sound System. The Florida-based band sued Lipa and her label in March reckoning they are both liable for copyright infringement because of the way ‘Levitating’ apparently borrows from ‘Live Your Life’.

The outfit’s initial legal filing was pretty concise compared to most song-theft lawsuits which usually have tediously long sections running through the beats and notes and lyrics that the new song has in common with the old song. It also didn’t have a particularly well formed theory as for how Lipa and her collaborators accessed ‘Live Your Life’.

All of which means the disparaging formal response from Lipa’s lawyers this week is not surprising. According to Billboard, they wrote that “plaintiffs fail to allege a single fact that identifies what material from ‘Live Your Life’ is copied in ‘Levitating’”.

The original lawsuit stated that “given the degree of similarity, it is highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently from ‘Live Your Life’”.

But, Lipa’s team argue, Artikal Sound System’s attempts to show those similarities are “vague” and “devoid of a shred of factual detail”. In fact “plaintiffs merely conclusorily allege purported similarities between the two works without any factual detail whatsoever”.

And as for how Lipa et al got access to ‘Live Your Life’ before writing ‘Levitating’, the new legal filing says “plaintiffs are essentially seeking to plead access by alleging that someone who knows someone who knows someone might have met one of the ‘Levitating’ writers”.

We await to see how Artikal Sound System respond.