‘Uptown Funk’ Faces Another Legal Battle
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are once again facing the prospect of a legal battle over their ‘Uptown Funk’ song. The song has been the subject of legal disputes in the past and this time is in the process of being sued by The Sequence. The 1970s trio, made up of Cheryl Cook, Gwendolyn Chisolm and Angie Brown Stone, have claimed that the 2014 hit single “Uptown Funk” violates the copyright of their single, “Funk You Up” released in 1979. This shows that the recent spate of copyright disputes involving famous songs does not appear to be abating. Much of this has arisen from the use of digital sampling on records of older tracks.
The collaboration for “Uptown Funk” has won two Grammy Awards, including being announced as Record of the Year in 2016. The single was also certified “diamond” by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), meaning that at least 10 million copies were sold.
The Sequence have based their claim on the fact that “Uptown Funk” has ‘significant and substantially similar compositional elements’ to ones that feature in their 1979 song. As a result of the alleged infringement The Sequence have requested a jury trial, which is possible for civil cases in US law, and are seeking monetary damages.
As alluded to above this is not the first time that ‘Uptown Funk’ has faced legal action. In 2015 Ronson agreed to add members of ‘The Gap Band’ as songwriters of ‘Uptown Funk’ as part of an out of court settlement of a lawsuit concerning that band’s ‘Oops! Upside Your Head’ song. They are also in the process of being sued by Lastrada Entertainment who own the copyright to the song ‘More Bounce to the Ounce’.