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Is It Too Late For Skrillex & Bieber To Say Sorry?

Skrillex Beiber White Hinterland 2

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Justin Bieber has been dropping bangers galore recently. What Do You Mean, Love Yourselfand Children have been getting more than a little rotation on the radio waves, but not everyone is happy with the results, namely Casey Dienel.

The American singer-songwriter, who may be better known by her stage name White Hinterland, has asked Bieber and producer Skrillex to don their best suits and meet her in court over their hit Sorry. The lawsuit alleges the distinct intro line is a rip-off of Hinterland’s vocal opening in her track Ring the Bell, being an unauthorised sample.

The two tracks are eerily similar as far as O-o-o-o-h’s go, but producer Skrillex has jumped onto social media to defend his and Bieber’s work.

Posting a video to Twitter, Skrillex shows how he manipulated the original vocal line as recorded by Julia Michaels. Bieber has retweeted the video, adding “#WeDontSteal”.

In the US, copyright law hinges on two points, that of ‘similarity’ and ‘access’. Similarity, as you might think, refers to how similar elements of the song sound, and this can be a fairly abstract connection, such as Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, and its similarity to a number of Marvin Gaye’s tracks’ “grooves”. Access, on the other hand, refers to whether the accused artists could have heard the original work or were aware of it to knowingly copy the tune prior to their recording.

While it’s unclear whether Skrillex and Bieber had heard Ring the Bell prior to their recording, it would seem that Skrillex’s video is pointing out that the two artists arrived at a similar conclusion through two different methods, which is bound to happen in the relatively constrained medium of music. That largely puts a hold on the accusations of sampling, however, that may not be the end of the ordeal as the court will still have to judge the issue.

Dienel is suing the pair for a cash settlement and is insisting that Bieber stops playing Sorry live, which is a big ask. But hey, you know what they say – aim high!

Check out the music videos for both songs below, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

Written by Max Higgins