We have some fresh EDM beef that is heading to court. Arty is suing Marshmello for allegedly ripping off his remix for OneRepublic “I Lived.” The song in question from Marshmello is his hit “Happier” with Bastille.
In the lawsuit, filed yesterday in California federal court, accuses Marshmello, born Chris Comstock, of "willfully copying" the "original composition elements" of his own remix "note for note." This includes a synth pattern you can hear in both drops. The suit is unique because it focuses on his remix and not the underlying composition by OneRepublic, which has ownership over.
There are a slew of other defendants including Bastille frontman Daniel Campbell Smith, producer Steve Mac and a slew of publishing companies.
Nashville copyright attorney Richard Busch, who represented Marvin Gaye’s estate in the “Blurred Lines” case, is representing Arty.
Arty’s remix of “I Lived” was released in 2014 and “Happier” was released in August 2018. Arty also alleges that Marshmello was at a show of his where Arty played his remix.
In the suit, Arty is seeking “actual damages in addition to Defendants’ profits both domestically and relating to foreign sales of other exploitation of ‘Happier’ that were manufactured, distributed or otherwise infringed domestically,” along with a “running royalty on all future exploitations of ‘Happier’ following judgment in an amount to be determined.”
Page 21 is where Arty’s team gets into the musicology of their suit, alleging 19 of 20 notes are "identical in order," 15 of 20 have "identical metric placements" and 11 of 20 have “identical pitches, identical metric placement and identical rhythmic durations.”
When these get in court with judges and a jury who aren’t musicologists and can’t tell the difference between a melody and a harmony, anything can happen.