Minneapolis college funk band, Collage, has sued Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars for copyright infringement over the 2014 hit song “Uptown Funk.” According to Pitchfork, the complaint claims the track is a “strikingly and/or substantially similar copy” of a Collage song entitled “Young Girls” the band wrote in 1983. The alleged similar elements include the “instrumental attributes and themes of ‘Uptown Funk'” such as “guitar riffs,” “bass notes,” and “crescendo of horns.” The plaintiffs bolster their argument by pointing to public comments by Ronson and Mars regarding their 1930s Minneapolis electro-funk soul music influence. James, Jeff Bhasker, Devon Gallaspy, Phillip Lawrence, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner/Chappell Music, and RCA Records are all named as additional defendants to the suit. Collage is seeking damages and profits, which could be highly lucrative considering its Diamond Certification.
Jennifer Marr is an Online Highlight Editor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current second year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2018).