“Levitating” lawsuit accuses Dua Lipa of “duplicating” song

Shortly after embarking on her Future Nostalgia World Tour, Dua Lipa was served two lawsuits in less than a week of each other. The first was from a Florida reggae band called Artikal Sound System, which accused Lipa of lifting production aspects of their song “Live Your Life” to make the smash hit “Levitating.”

Then on Friday, the British singer was hit with yet another copyright infringement lawsuit over the same song.

In the newest lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court, the songwriters ​behind the 1979 song “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and the 1980 song “Don Diablo”—L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer—said Lipa infringed both of these songs because the melody was a “duplicate.” “The notes move in the same direction with evenly matched intervals or ‘steps,’ and almost identical rhythms,” the plaintiffs allege.

“Defendants have levitated away plaintiffs’ intellectual property,” the pun-filled complaint says, according to the Guardian. “Plaintiffs bring suit so that defendants cannot wiggle out of their willful infringement.” It goes on to say, as Rolling Stone reports, “The infringing works have compositional elements substantially similar to those of the [Brown and Linzer] songs.”

As evidence for the case, the songwriters included Lipa’s interviews where she “admitted that she deliberately emulated prior eras” as well as reviews from music journalists who noted the similarities between “Levitating” and “Wiggle and Giggle All Night.”

The lawsuit is piled on top of her previous lawsuit from Artikal Sound System, which had music influencers on TikTok stumped. Some felt that the Florida reggae band had an “open and closed” case due to the similarities, while others felt there might be something unscrupulous going on.

A rep for Lipa did not respond to Fast Company‘s request for comment.

Copyright lawsuits of this type can be costly for music artists. In 2020, Rolling Stone noted that such suits are “striking fear into professional musicians’ hearts,” as defendants are often asked to shell out millions of dollars. The issue has become so pronounced that musicians are increasingly looking into obtaining errors-and-omissions insurance, or E&O—which protects the musician’s intellectual property when faced with legal troubles.

Forbes also noted in 2021 that ” the increasing trend of music-related copyright infringement lawsuits do not seem to be going anywhere.”

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