Pop star Carly Rae Jepsen is being sued by a Ukrainian singer/rapper named Aza who claims Jepsen stole her song to create "Call Me Maybe."
Aza is filing her lawsuit in Los Angeles, and claims that Jepsen's song is a direct ripoff of her song "Hunky Santa," reports TMZ.
The Ukranian singer says that producers simply tweaked her song to create Jepsen's surprise summer hit. Aza reportedly told TMZ that she was so "shocked and surprised" when she first heard Carly Rae Jepsen's song on the radio that she almost got into a car accident. She apparently could not believe that Jepsen sampled her song without even requesting permission.
But to sample someone's lyrics, you must actually use that person's lyrics -- or even a melody or something that remotely sounds like the lyrics.
Instead, in Aza's video, she prances around a hunky Santa and tries to seduce the poor guy while rapping in heavily accented English. The only thing remotely similar between the two songs is when Aza hands the hunky Santa her number and tells him to call her (not even call her maybe, just to call her).
Jepsen's representative responded to the lawsuit by calling it "completely false." The rep added that "everyone knows that Carly is a songwriter ... She is not spending a lot of time listening to Ukrainian radio," writes TMZ.
Besides having a judge and jury simply listen to the two songs, Jepsen has several potential defenses available to her in the copyright infringement lawsuit. For example:
- Jepsen may be able to claim independent creation. Even if the songs do sound alike to some listeners, Jepsen can claim that she came up with the lyrics and melody on her own. Her representative is basically setting up this defense by saying that Jepsen is a songwriter and spends no time listening to Ukrainian radio.
- In addition, Jepsen can claim that the amount and quality used from Aza's song is so minimal as to not constitute infringement. After all, the idea of giving your number out to someone with the hope that that person will call you is hardly novel.
Aza may have sued Jepsen to get her own name out there. If that was her purpose, she may have been successful. But if she actually wants to win a copyright infringement lawsuit against Jepsen, she will likely need a much stronger claim.
- Aza, Ukrainian Artist, Alleges 'Call Me Maybe' Ripoff (The Hollywood Gossip)
- Beastie Boys Gotta Fight for Their Right to Sample (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Jay-Z, Kanye West Settle 'Watch the Throne' Sampling Lawsuit (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)