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1: Lizzo Faces More Plagiarism Accusations as Producer Comes Forward, Demanding Credit for ‘Truth Hurts’
First off today, Robyn Merrett at People reports that Lizzo is facing allegations of plagiarism and copyright infringement as a producer has come forward to say that elements of her hit song Truth Hurts were plucked from an earlier collaboration between them.
The accusations come in the form of a video posted by producer Justin Raisen, who claims that he helped Lizzo write and record a 2017 song entitled Healthy. That song included the famous line from Truth Hurts, “I just took a DNA test turns I’m 100% that bitch.” He claims that, after Truth Hurts was released, he tried to resolve the dispute quietly but was rebuffed. However, he is careful to say that nothing is meant to “throw any negativity” toward Lizzo’s momentum as an artist or her body positivity movement.
Lizzo, through her attorney, has denied that Raisen is an author of the song, saying that he was not involved in the creation of it in any way. However, that isn’t the only claim to that particular line. Another singer, Mina Lioness, tweeted the line in February 2017, about six months before the song was released.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just thrown a lifeline to Pandora in its legal battle over pre-1972 sound recordings.
Pre-1972 sound recordings are not controlled by federal copyright law and, instead, are protected under state regulations. In 2013, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles filed a lawsuit saying that Pandora was violating the public performance right of their music by streaming it while only licensing the composition. This prompted a legal battle that spanned several states and resulted in a legal victory for The Turtles (and others in the class action) in California.
However, while the case was being litigated, Congress passed the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which established that public performance right moving forward when dealing with streaming services. While the Appeals Court did not say that the MMA preempted the lawsuit, it did agree that the lower court should revisit the question of whether Pandora can strike the lawsuit and may end it completely.
Finally today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that the national Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has sent a letter to Senator Marco Rubio asking him, and the rest of Congress, to look into the question of whether the popular app TikTok is committing massive copyright infringement.
The move comes after Rubio sent a letter of his own to the U.S. Treasury Secretary that request an investigation into TikTok’s foreign investments and whether the Chinese company that owns the service is removing videos that are critical of China.
From the copyright standpoint, the issue is that TikTok heavily features music from publishers and songwriters that the NMPA represents. However, though many publishers have reached deals with TikTok, not all of them have and many that have not have had their music featured on the site. TikTok responded saying that it is a video sharing app, not a music service, but that it has “broad licensing coverage across the music publishing industry” to allow it to use the music it does.