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First off today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that Ariane Grande is being sued by singer-songwriter Josh Stone over allegations that Grande’s 2019 song 7 Rings is an infringement of his 2017 track You Need I Got It.
Stone, who uses the stage name DOT, claims that the chorus from 7 Rings copies his work, in particular, the lyrics and the hooks. According to the lawsuit, one musicologist identified some 39 identical notes.
Stone further alleges that Thomas Lee Brown, the songwriter and producer of 7 Rings, was in attendance at meetings Stone hat with Universal Music Group in 2017, during which he played You Need I Got It. He is seeking actual damages related to the alleged infringement, statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and the destruction of all copies of the song.
Next up today, Charlotte Krol at NME reports that Ed Sheeran has been ordered to reveal his concert earnings as part of the ongoing dispute over the song Thinking Out Loud.
The case pits Sheeran against rightsholders of much of Marvin Gaye’s music, which accuses him of copying from Gaye’s song Let’s Get it On in his song Thinking Out Loud. As part of that lawsuit, the estate wanted access to his concert earnings but Sheeran argued that, even if the song is an infringement, a blanket license from ASCAP makes live performances of the song legal.
However, the court disagreed saying that there is no right to infringe and that the author of an infringing work has no right to perform it. The case, which began in 2018, has seen multiple delays but is currently winding its way to a trial. No date has been set.
Finally today, Chaim Gartenberg at The verge reports that Etsy sellers are facing a new wave of takedown notices from Disney over their unlicensed Baby Yoda merchandise.
Baby Yoda was featured in the new Star Wars series The Mandalorian. However, to keep the character a surprise, Disney held off on starting the production of merchandise until after the series launched. While the surprise worked, it meant that there was a market for Baby Yoda merchandise with little official merch to fill it.
To that end, Etsy sellers and others stepped up and began making unlicensed versions of the character. Disney, however, has begun clamping down, sending a new wave of takedown notices to Etsy over the merchandise. In response, many sellers are relisting items with more generic descriptions to avoid issues with Disney’s enforcers.