Entertainment

Too late now to say sorry? Justin Bieber, Skrillex sued for copyright infringement

Justin Bieber and Skrillex have been sued for copyright infringement by singer-songwriter Casey Dienel for the multi-platinum song Sorry. Dienel, who performs as White Hinterland, filed suit against the two performers and their publishing companies, Universal Music and co-writers in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday.

Indie-pop artist claims vocal riff copied from her 2014 track Ring the Bell

Skrillex, left, and Justin Bieber accept the American Music Awards trophy for collaboration of the year for Where Are U Now, in November. Singer-songwriter Casey Dienel has filed suit against the two performers over similarities their hit song Sorry has to her 2014 track Ring the Bell. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Justin Bieber and Skrillex have been sued for copyright infringement by singer-songwriter Casey Dienel for the multi-platinum song Sorry.

Dienel, who performs as White Hinterland, filed suit against the two performers and their publishing companies, Universal Music and co-writers in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday.

"As many of you that follow my career and work have already recognized, Justin Bieber's song Sorry copies the vocal riff prominently featured in my song Ring the Bell," Dienel wrote on Facebook.

"Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in Sorry. But he chose not to contact me ... In the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art."

Her suit claims Sorry copies a prominent vocal riff from her song Ring the Bell, released in 2014, and loops it. Dienel's lawsuit said her attorney sent a letter to Bieber's lawyer and manager explaining the infringement but they didn't respond.

Representatives for Bieber and Skrillex didn't immediately return requests for comment Friday.

Dienel is asking for unspecified damages and attorney's fees.

Dienel's song was released on her album Baby in 2014 on the independent record label Dead Oceans.

In a 2014 review, Rolling Stone magazine praised Dienel's vocal ability.

"She's got a Mary Poppins-size bag of tricks, singing in operatic quivers, howling yelps, haunting harmonic layers and even full-on vocal fry without showing any seams," wrote reviewer Cady Drell. "Dienel's vocal acrobatics stay riveting."

With files from CBC News

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now