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A list of musicians who needed to pay up because of copyright claims

World-renowned British musician Ed Sheeran recently won his copyright battle against Marvin Gaye, after the latter accused the former of copying his 1970s hit “Let’s Get It On.”

However, this was not actually the first time Sheeran won a copyright case. In fact, he was also accused of the same issue in his song “Shape of you,” in which he won the case as well.

Copyright is important for every artist. Regardless if you are a writer, artist, or a singer, every work you make has a copyright. It gives your work the protection it needs and ensures that others would not be able to take advantage of your creation without proper attribution or remuneration.

In the music industry, there have been a lot of copyright battles that singers and musicians fought hard against with through the years. Some like Ed Sheeran have won, but there are some who were unfortunate to lose their case. Below are three artists in music history who were forced to pay up because of copyright:

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams

The “Blurred Lines” is surely one of the most iconic songs that every millennial and Gen Z can remember about 2013. As reported, artists Robin Thicke and Pharrel William, artists behind the song, lost the copyright case two years after against the family members of Marvin Gaye who accused the former of  copying the “feel” and “sound” of “Got to give it up.” The report added that the two artists initially were asked to pay $7 million. This was later brought down to more than $5 million.

The Verve

Two managers of Rolling Stones asserted that the rock band, The Verve used more than what was agreed in their song “Bittersweet Symphony” in the 1990s. It was said in a report that part of the song’s strings was part of the Rolling Stone’s songs, specifically their orchestral arrangements. The rock band ended up being charged for $1.7 million because of the song. However, the rights were returned to the band in 2019, a sweet turn of events for the copyright battle for their song.

Vanilla Ice

You may have probably heard one of his most famous songs already. The song “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice faced a similar lawsuit just like the first two songs. According to a report, the case between the rapper and the side of Queen and David Bowie was resolved in court even though the amount that Vanilla Ice paid was not really determined. The report also added that the Queen and Bowie earned the credits for the popular song.


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